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r.forcircular - Evaluation of circular bioeconomy level of forest ecosystems


raster, bioeconomy, forest


r.forcircular --help
r.forcircular [-r] forest=name boundaries=name dtm=name tracks=name [rivers=name] [lakes=name] [protected_areas=name] slp_min_cc=float slp_max_cc=float dist_max_cc=float [slp_max_fw=float] dist_max_fw=float slp_max_cop=float dist_max_cop=float hf_slope=string c_slope=string hf_noslope=string c_noslope=string [resolution=string] [cost_chainsaw=float] [cost_processor=float] [cost_harvester=float] [cost_cablehf=float] [cost_cablec=float] [cost_forwarder=float] [cost_skidder=float] [cost_tractor=float] [cost_chipping=float] [interest=float] [mc_paper=float] [mc_furniture=float] [mc_building=float] [mc_woodpackaging=float] [mc_other=float] ind1=name ind2=name ind3=name ind4=name ind5=name ind6=name ind7=name [w_1=float] [w_2=float] [w_3=float] [w_4=float] [w_5=float] [w_6=float] [w_7=float] [--overwrite] [--help] [--verbose] [--quiet] [--ui]


Remove all operational maps
Allow output files to overwrite existing files
Print usage summary
Verbose module output
Quiet module output
Force launching GUI dialog


forest=name [required]
Name of input parcel parcel map
Name of input parcel parcel map
boundaries=name [required]
Name of input boundaries vector boolean map
Name of input boundaries vector boolean map
dtm=name [required]
Name of input elevation raster map
tracks=name [required]
Name of input forest roads vector map
Name of input forest roads vector map
Name of input rivers vector map
Name of input rivers vector map
Name of input lakes vector map
Name of input lakes vector map
Name of input protected areas vector map
Name of input protected areas vector map
slp_min_cc=float [required]
Percent slope lower limit for aerial extraction
Default: 30.
slp_max_cc=float [required]
Percent slope higher limit for aerial extraction
Default: 100.
dist_max_cc=float [required]
Maximum distance for aerial extraction
Default: 1000.
Percent slope higher limit with Forwarder
Default: 30.
dist_max_fw=float [required]
Maximum distance with Forwarder
Default: 900.
slp_max_cop=float [required]
Percent slope higher limit with other techniques for Coppices
Default: 30.
dist_max_cop=float [required]
Maximum distance with other techniques for Coppices
Default: 800.
hf_slope=string [required]
Machineries for high forest in steep terrain
Options: cable crane - high power, cable crane - medium/low power, skidder
c_slope=string [required]
Machineries for coppice in steep terrain
Options: cable crane - high power, cable crane - medium/low power, tractor
hf_noslope=string [required]
Vehicle for high forest in not steep terrain
Options: forwarder, skidder, tractor
c_noslope=string [required]
Vehicle for coppice in not steep terrain
Options: forwarder, skidder, tractor
Working resolution
Default: 10
Felling and/or felling-processing cost with chainsaw EUR/h
Default: 13.17
Processing cost with processor EUR/h
Default: 83.52
Felling and processing cost with harvester EUR/h
Default: 96.33
Extraction cost with high power cable crane EUR/h
Default: 111.64
Extraction cost with medium power cable crane EUR/h
Default: 104.31
Extraction cost with forwarder EUR/h
Default: 70.70
Extraction cost with skidder EUR/h
Default: 64.36
Extraction cost with tractor EUR/h
Default: 45
Chipping cost EUR/h
Default: 160.87
Interest rate EUR/h
Default: 0.03
Percentage of roundwood re-use in paper
Default: 0.02
Percentage of roundwood re-use in furniture
Default: 0.4
Percentage of roundwood re-use in building
Default: 0.5
Percentage of roundwood re-use in packaging
Default: 0.03
Percentage of roundwood re-use in other use
Default: 0.05
ind1=name [required]
Name for indicator n.1 map
ind2=name [required]
Name for indicator n.2 map
ind3=name [required]
Name for indicator n.3 map
ind4=name [required]
Name for indicator n.4 map
ind5=name [required]
Name for indicator n.5 map
ind6=name [required]
Name for indicator n.6 map
ind7=name [required]
Name for indicator n.7 map
Weight for indicator n.1
Default: 0.15
Weight for indicator n.2
Default: 0.12
Weight for indicator n.3
Default: 0.12
Weight for indicator n.4
Default: 0.13
Weight for indicator n.5
Default: 0.14
Weight for indicator n.6
Default: 0.17
Weight for indicator n.7
Default: 0.16

Table of contents


r.forcircular analyzes and measures the level of sustainability of the forest-wood supply chain in a circular bioeconomy approach.


This module permits to identify potentially usable forest areas both from a technical and economic point of view. The required data input is a vector file with a series of mandatory fields described below: Other mandatory data: Optional data: r.forcircular identifies forest areas potentially exploitable from both technical (according to geomorphological, logistic and mechanization variables) and economic (through the estimation of stumpage value) points of view. Subsequently, the use of indicators belonging to the 4R framework of the circular economy (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover) allows to evaluate the level of circularity of the forest-wood supply chain. Finally, the application of spatial multicriteria analysis (SMCA) (specifically with compromise programming – CP – technique) permits to merge in a unique measure the level of circular bioeconomy for production of traditional wood assortments and bioenergy in forest areas. In the SMCA procedure, each indicator is weighted according to on-line questionnaire proposed to decision makers operating in the forest-based sector. The list of indicators used is the following:

Reduce i1 - Ratio (on annual basis) between annual value and annual mean volume of harvested mass
i2 - CO2 emissions per unit of wood product
Improving of the process efficiency reducing the utilization of natural resources
Reuse i5 - Ratio between the potential economic value of the wood assortment and the real value earned Valorisation of the valuable wood high quality assortments
Recover i6 - Percentage of wood waste for bioenergy production
i7 - Amount of CO2 emissions saved per unit of energy produced by wood wastes
Energy recovery from wood waste products; Emissions saved from energy recovery from wood waste products

The quantification of circular bioeconomy indicators is developed in the framework of provisioning forest ecosystem services. For this reason, the indicators and results of SMCA process are computed on forest surface with financial efficiency of production process or, in other terms, the area where a positive stumpage value can be reached. The calculation of stumpage value is carried out following the approach of another GRASS GIS add-on:

The model in r.forcircular starts with importation of geodata and conversion of vector intp raster. Then, through a multistep approach, the technical and the economic availability of biomass (both traditional wood assortments and woodchips for bioenergy production) are quantified. Technical availability depicts forest surface where the extraction of wood material is possible. The approach combines type of mechanisation, limits for slope, distance from roads and roughness.
In forest area where extraction is possible, the stumpage value is quantified as a combination of differenct factors such as hourly unitary cost of each production process, worker costs, hourly productivity and administrative costs.
The user can setthe upper and – if needed – lower limits for slope and distance from roads to obtain the technical surface:

In forest area where extraction is possible, the stumpage value is quantified as follow:
Subsequently, the 4R indicators are calculated on the forest area with positive revenue.

The importance of each circular bioeconomy index derives from the work of Paletto et al. (see Paletto A, Becagli C, Geri F, et al (2022) Use of Participatory Processes in Wood Residue Management from a Circular Bioeconomy Perspective: An Approach Adopted in Italy. Energies 15:1011) where – starting from a total sample of 56 decision makers operating in forest-based sectorin Italy – 30 decision makers filled out a questionnaire. The decision makers involved in the study have been identified based on their knowledge and experience in the fields of bioeconomy, circular economic, and forest policy. According to the outputs provided by Paletto et al., the values of indices currently applied in r.forcircular (but modifiable by users) are: i1=0.15, i2=0.12, i3=0.12, i4=0.13, i5=0.14, i6=0.17, i7=0.16.

r.forcircular highlights the output in both numerical and geographical format. By means of zonal statistics operations following results can be reported for the forest surface where stumpage value is greater then 0: annual availability of assortments (m3/y) recalibrated in category of harvested material (i.e., roundwood, timber pole, firewood, woodchips converted in bioenergy and expressed in MWh/y), annual stumpage value (€/y), average annual stumpage value (€/ha·y-1), average stumpage value at harvesting (€/ha) and avoided CO2 emissions (tCO2/y).

Quantification of circular bioeconomy is expressed by a SMCA procedure based on compromise programming (CP) technique. CP depicts the distance from the so-called “ideal” point, a hypothetical alternative defined as the most suitable level for each indicator (i) in the considered scenario. The distance from ideal point (DIP) is measured with the decision rule:


This example is based on the case-study of Municipality Union of the Sieve and Arno valleys (province of Florence, Tuscany, Italy). The territory is mountainous and is located in the central Apennine. The surface of Municipality Union is 49,500 hectares with a forest index of 62%. Woodlands are mainly composed by broadleaved forests (84%), followed by conifers (10%) and mixed forests of broadleaved and conifers (6%). Below you can see the vector parcel file, with a field structure like the manatory field scheme described above.

Parcel map
On the basis of this example the correct syntax to run the module is:
r.forcircular forest=parcel boundaries=study_Area dtm=dem tracks=forest_tracks \
  rivers=rivers lakes=lakes protected_areas=reserved slp_min_cc=30. slp_max_cc=100. \
  dist_max_cc=1000. dist_max_fw=900. slp_max_cop=30. dist_max_cop=800. \
  hf_slope="cable crane - high power" c_slope="cable crane - medium/low power" \
  hf_noslope="tractor" c_noslope="tractor" ind1=indicator1 ind2=indicator2 ind3=indicator3 \
  ind4=indicator4 ind5=indicator5 ind6=indicator6 ind7=indicator7

The output maps are: technical_surface (forest surface where exploitation is technically possibile), economic_surface (forest surface where the exploitation is economically advantageous), emission (CO2 produced by the exploitation), annual_avoided_emission (emissions avoided compared to the use of fossil fuels), revenues (map of economic revenues), dip (distance from ideal, the assessment of the circular economy level of the forest supply chain). Below there are two examples of the output maps corresponding respectively to the stumpage value and the annual avoided emission:

stumpage value map Avoided emission map
Examples of output maps: stumpage value and avoided emission
The output text results are the follow:
End of process 
Name of output maps: 
rep_roundwood -> roundwood (m3/y): 8507.3917
rep_timber -> timber pole (m3/y): 195.4894
rep_firewood -> firewood (m3/y): 7239.1150
rep_bioenergy -> bioenergy (MWh/y): 6354.3441
rep_sum_a_stumpage_value -> annual stumpage value (EUR/y): 147608.5463
rep_ave_stumpage_value -> average stumpage value (EUR/ha): 3998.2780
rep_ave_a_stumpage_value -> average annual stumpage value (EUR/ha*y-1): 28.2872
rep_annual_avoided_emission -> annual avoided emissions (t): 1963.9961
rep_indicator1 -> annual value of wood on annual yield (euro/m3): 7.2534
rep_indicator2 -> carbon dioxide emission per cubic meter (t/m3): 0.0001
rep_indicator3 -> general index of forest surface utilization (ha/y):157.192
rep_indicator4 -> general index of re-use (m3*y) sum: 292481.3438
rep_indicator5 -> potential value of wood on real value (euro/euro): 1.3093
rep_indicator6 -> percentual of wood residuals used in bioenergy production (%): 0.1277
rep_indicator7 -> avoided CO2 per unit of energy produced (gCO2 /kWh): 308.6331
dist_tot -> AMC map: 3.7276


Paletto A, Becagli C, Geri F, Sacchelli S, De Meo I. Use of Participatory Processes in Wood Residue Management from a Circular Bioeconomy Perspective: An Approach Adopted in Italy. Energies. 2022; 15(3):1011.



Francesco Geri and Sandro Sacchelli


Available at: r.forcircular source code (history)

Latest change: Fri Feb 11 11:29:09 2022 in commit: b3111ead62b848706c0358652b5e672717791ed8

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