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New Zealand Journal of Forestry (1999) 44(2): 24–29
©New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Research article
Does the world need planted forests?

W. R. J. Sutton

An analysis is made of the world need for plantation forests, based on discussion of: the importance of wood; past trends in wood use; a comparison between wood and fossil fuels; the advantages of wood as a renewable resource and carbon sequesterer, and the unlikelihood of further wood substitution; and future demand for wood. The minimum area of planted forest that will be required is estimated as 100 million hectares. This estimate allows for neither a major increase in wood substitution, nor for increasing per capita wood use. The analysis also ignores different requirements for fuelwood and industrial wood, wood quality and stand management in planted forests, and the multipurpose use of some planted forests.
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