The core of the EFISCEN model was developed in the late 1980s for Sweden by Prof. Ola Sallnäs at the Swedish Agricultural University. The first European application of this model was carried out by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in the early 1990s. This application was motivated by the expectation of large-scale dieback due to acidification.
In the early years of the European Forest Institute ( EFI), the value of this model for harmonised European scenario studies was acknowledged. With help from the original developers, the model was transferred to EFI in 1996, and given the name EFISCEN (version 1.0). At the same time, the underlying EFISCEN inventory database was updated and further expanded with the help of many country correspondents and inventory experts.
Over the following years the model was developed further both by EFI and Alterra, including modules that allowed (i) growth changes due to climate change to be taken into account, and (ii) calculation of carbon budgets of both biomass and soil.
During 1999, EFISCEN 2.0 was expanded with a module to simulate natural disturbances and natural mortality (EFISCEN versions 2.1 and 2.2). The version with natural disturbances has until now (May 2006) only been applied to Switzerland, Germany and France. Over the course of time, EFISCEN has also been applied to several Russian regions, such as the Leningrad region, Archangelsk, Novgorod and Kostroma.
In the course of 2000, an attempt was made to link the single country runs (as is done normally in EFISCEN) to one dynamic full scale European model that solves its European scale wood demand through international trade in wood products between countries (Nabuurs et al. 2002). This feature has not been used since, but will be used in projects under the EC 6th Framework Programme .
Within the European Forest Sector Outlook Studies (EFSOS) carried out by the UNECE/FAO, EFISCEN was used for the forest resource projections in connection to market projections as made with the ETTS-V market model. Part of the work consisted of an update and further expansion of the underlying EFISCEN inventory database (2000-2001).
In the early 2000s, work started at EFI to reprogram EFISCEN in C++ (EFISCEN 3.x). This new version of the model has already been applied in several projects, but the work is still ongoing.
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