We tried to answer these questions in our recently published article 'Simulation of forest-based carbon balances for Germany: a contribution to the carbon debt debate'. We could show that in the upcoming 200 years in Germany only a radical change of forest management would lead to net-carbon emmissions from forests and forest products.
We also estimated the amount of carbon emmissions that is avoided due to the fact that using forest products replaces non-renewable products (substitution effect). We could show that the avoided emmissions are a multiple higher than the changes of the forest and forest products carbon pools. Even the net carbon emmissions that would occur with a radical change of forest management would be overcompensated by the substitution effect. Like for all other scnenarios, the carbon balance would be clearly positive.
Age class distribution of the German forests and the starting point as from where the changes of the carbon pools are looked at predominantly determine our results. Changing market conditions and an altered national energy mix do have a comparably smaller impact on the results.
Schweinle J, Köthke M, Englert H, Dieter M (2017) Simulation of forest-based carbon balances for Germany: a contribution to the "carbon debt" debate. WIREs Energy Environ(e260):1-15, DOI:10.1002/wene.260