Carbon Sequestration and Fire Management:  Conflict of Interest or Opportunity

Carbon Sequestration and Fire Management: Conflict of Interest or Opportunity PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Multiple Focus Management. Balancing habitat management with ecosystem function. . . Carbon Sequestration. Species Protection. ResistMaintain status quo of habitatBoth climate change and disturbance are unstoppable processesRestoreUse management techniques to keep habitat functionalAware of cli

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Carbon Sequestration and Fire Management: Conflict of Interest or Opportunity

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1. Carbon Sequestration and Fire Management: Conflict of Interest or Opportunity? Joseph D. White, Ph.D. Director, The Institute for Ecological, Earth, and Environmental Sciences Baylor University

2. Multiple Focus Management Balancing habitat management with ecosystem function

3. Resist Maintain status quo of habitat Both climate change and disturbance are unstoppable processes Restore Use management techniques to keep habitat functional Aware of climate change impacts, seek to use restoration techniques to maintain current habitats as long as possible Resilience Adjust expectations habitat and prepare for shifts Expect loss (and gain) of habitat Encourage refuge latitudinal coordination of refuges to anticipate habitat loss/gain at other locations with inter-refuge corridor acquisition zones Expand species/habitat management to current and potential Management Paradigm

4. Carbon Basics NPP = GPP – Ram – Rag = ?Biomass – Mortality Net Ecosystem Production = NPP – Rh Net Ecosystem Exchange = NEP – Fire emissions + charcoal Generally, biomass is the perceived C sequestration value, however ecosystem C storage is a long-term interaction of C stores, climate, and processes Sites can have lots of living biomass and still be a source of CO2 emissions to the atmosphere due to influence of decomposition and land management

5. Ecosystem Carbon Net soil carbon increase over time ranges from 0.2 to 10 g C m-2 yr-1 with an ecosystem average of 2.4 g C m-2 yr-1 (Schlesinger 1990)

6. Site biomass (hence carbon assuming 50% of biomass in C) accumulation asymptotic with development for both vegetation and soil pools in the absence of fire Net ecosystem exchange best measure of C status for ecosystem at maturity

7. Which brings me to charcoal…

8. Charcoal and Soil The global average percentage proportion of black carbon to carbon consumed (BC/CC) by fire is approximately 3% The BC as ash to charcoal ratio: is 2:1 in grass and savanna ecosystems 1:2 in woodland and forest ecosystems >40% of the organic matter of soils contains BC >80% of BC remains on site following fire The bulk of BC is deposited in coastal shelf and deep ocean sediments due to atmospheric transport where residence time ranges from 10-30 kyrs BC retained in terrestrial soils has a residence time of 0.5-5 kyr (Forbes et al. 2006) Formation, transformation and transport of black carbon (charcoal) in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. M.S. Forbes, R.J. Raison, J.O. Skjemstad. Science of the Total Environment 370 (2006) 190–206.Formation, transformation and transport of black carbon (charcoal) in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. M.S. Forbes, R.J. Raison, J.O. Skjemstad. Science of the Total Environment 370 (2006) 190–206.

9. Modeling Ecosystem Carbon BIOME-BGC Steve Running UM Functional plant types Vegetation and soil C,N fluxes daily Includes fire, climate change, and CO2 increase

11. Climate Change Scenario Similar to the AIFI scenario – “Business as usual” Maximum temperature +2°C Minimum temperature +3°C Precipitation decreased 30% Vapor pressure deficit increased 10% Atmospheric CO2 concentration 515 ppm

12. Simulated Fire Winter burns, specifically Feb 18th (Yearday 50) Fire return interval set as fraction of annual mortality 5 year fire return interval equates as 0.2 mortality/yr Could also be viewed as 0.2 of ecosystem burned each year For grasslands all foliage consumed For woodlands and forests, 20% of foliage, live, and dead stems consumed representing a light surface fire 3% of all biomass consumed turned into charcoal and removed from calculation of C:N of soil to separate charcoal C from bioavailable C in soil

13. Forest/Woodland Total Carbon

14. Grassland Total Carbon

15. Shrubland Total Carbon

16. Forest/Woodland NEE

17. Grassland NEE

18. Shrubland Total Carbon

19. Vegetation Shifts Climate Change Effects on Vegetation Distribution and Carbon Budget in the United States Dominique Bachelet, Ronald P. Neilson, James M. Lenihan, and Raymond J. Drapek, Ecosystems (2001) 4: 164–185Climate Change Effects on Vegetation Distribution and Carbon Budget in the United States Dominique Bachelet, Ronald P. Neilson, James M. Lenihan, and Raymond J. Drapek, Ecosystems (2001) 4: 164–185

21. Conclusions Fire results in reductions of total carbon, however increases sink strength for annual carbon uptake due to charcoal formation which is very resistant to decomposition For grasslands, a 5 year return interval of fire requires and average 73 years to reach site carbon of grasslands which have no burning Sites vary in their response to climate change The Coastal ecosystems show reduced site carbon and carbon uptake The Edwards Plateau is likely to continue a trajectory of increasing juniper, however fire can be utilized as a management technique with positive carbon sink strength outcomes The Rio Grande Valley shows increased evergreen shrub prominence likely at the expense of grass in the absence of fire Creosote advancement from the west? Loss of dominant Taumalipan species; expansion of the Chihuahuan biotic zone into the Rio Grande Valley

22. Acknowledgements Carl Schwope, Chuck Sexton, Debra Holle, Kelly McDowell, Mark Kaib USFWS Jim Grace, Wylie Barrow USGS Glen Gilman City of Austin, BCP Karen Ridenour, Rich Gray, TFS Spatial Ecology Laboratory crew

23. Low intensity fires increase soil charcoal content High intensity fires create hydrophobic organic matter complexes which become stabilized with available cations Soil C and N loss are very dependent upon fire intensity and time since the fire Effects of forest management on soil C and N storage: meta analysis. Dale W. Johnson, Peter S. Curtis, Forest Ecology and Management 140 (2001) 227-238Effects of forest management on soil C and N storage: meta analysis. Dale W. Johnson, Peter S. Curtis, Forest Ecology and Management 140 (2001) 227-238

24. Characterisation of aged charcoal using a coil probe pyrolysis-GC/MS method optimised for black carbon Joeri Kaal , Antonio Marti´nez Cortizas, Klaas G.J. Nierop. J. Anal. Appl. Pyrolysis 85 (2009) 408–416.Characterisation of aged charcoal using a coil probe pyrolysis-GC/MS method optimised for black carbon Joeri Kaal , Antonio Marti´nez Cortizas, Klaas G.J. Nierop. J. Anal. Appl. Pyrolysis 85 (2009) 408–416.

25. Coastal Grassland Carbon Budget

26. Coastal Ball Cypress Carbon Budget

27. Edwards Plateau Juniper Budget

28. Edwards Plateau Deciduous Oak Budget

29. Edwards Plateau Grassland Carbon Budget

30. Rio Grande Valley Grassland Carbon Budget

31. Rio Grande Valley Shrub Carbon Budget

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