Expected Global Warming Impacts on the Spatial Distribution and Productivity for 2050 of Five Species of Trees Used in the Wood Energy Supply Chain in France

Abstract: The development of collective and industrial energy systems, based on wood biomass, knows a significant increase since the end of the 90’s in France, with more than 6000 power plants and heating plants developed currently. Because these systems are built for a minimal duration of 30 years, it is relevant to assess the availability of wood resources according to the potential impacts of global warming on five tree species mainly used in such a supply chain. The assessment of the potential spatial distribution of the suitable areas of these trees in 2050, by using the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) RCP6.0 scenario (Representative Concentration Pathway), shows an average decrease of 22% of the plots in comparison with the current situation. The results also point out that mountain areas would maintain a high probability of the development of four tree species. The assessment of the Net Primary Productivity (NPP) underlines a potential decrease for 93% of the plots in 2050, and an increase of this parameter in mountain areas. According to these assumptions, the proposed ecosystem based methodology can be considered as a prospective approach to support stakeholders’ decisions for the development of the wood energy supply chain.

Keywords: biomass; climate change; impact; ecosystems; supply chain; sustainability