Development of a forest carbon sequestration protocol for the state of georgia
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Development of a Forest Carbon Sequestration Protocol for the State of Georgia. J. Siry, P. Bettinger, B. Borders, C. Cieszewski, M. Clutter, B. Izlar, D. Markewitz, R. Teskey Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia Carbon Registry Public Hearing, Statesboro

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Development of a Forest Carbon Sequestration Protocol for the State of Georgia

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Development of a forest carbon sequestration protocol for the state of georgia

Development of a Forest Carbon Sequestration Protocol for the State of Georgia

J. Siry, P. Bettinger, B. Borders, C. Cieszewski, M. Clutter,

B. Izlar, D. Markewitz, R. Teskey

Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia

Carbon Registry Public Hearing, Statesboro

February 12, 2007


Objectives

Objectives

  • Develop reliable and cost-effective methods for measuring carbon stocks and flows

    • Tree carbon

    • Soil carbon

    • Carbon stored in post-harvest sinks (forest products)

    • Monitoring carbon storage with remote sensing

    • Carbon trading website


Values and costs

Values and Costs

  • Currently, carbon sequestered in trees is a low value commodity

  • Participation will be limited if cost excessive

  • Tree carbon estimation essentially an inventory problem

  • Typical timber inventory 1 plot for every 1 to 4 acres at more than $10 per plot

  • If stand is producing 1 to 2 tons of carbon per ac/yr landowners unlikely to spend money on carbon estimates


Approach

Approach

  • Identify stand types

    • Species, site quality, age, density, and physiographic province

  • Estimate above ground green tons of stem wood with growth and yield functions

  • Convert green tons to carbon using conversion factors

  • Obtain below ground tree carbon as a function of above ground tree carbon (e.g. 20%)

  • Obtain soil carbon estimates in a similar manner


Tree carbon

Tree Carbon

  • Major stand categories developed for all major timber types in Georgia

  • Carbon tables developed for major timber types

  • Protocols

    • For entities with reliable inventory information

    • For entities without reliable inventory information

    • Verification at the end of contract


Tree carbon with reliable inventory

Tree CarbonWith Reliable Inventory

  • Stand level probability samples available

    • Conducted by registered forester

    • < 10 years

    • Sample precision <= 15%

  • Procedure for calculating tree carbon from inventory

    • Wood and bark into green tons of wood by product

    • Green tons into dry tons

    • Dry tons into carbon

    • Estimation of current levels (accumulation from inventory date)

      • Carbon tables

      • Growth and yield software


Tree carbon without reliable inventory

Tree CarbonWithout Reliable Inventory

  • Register forester examines the stand and identifies

    • Major species

    • Stand origin (planted cutover site, planted ag. field, natural)

    • Stand age

    • Site quality (low 52, medium 62, high 72 at 25 for pine)

    • Stand density (low, high)

    • Thinning condition (pine stands only)

    • Management intensity (planted pine only)

    • Level of genetic improvement

  • Use carbon table to assess carbon sequestered

  • Also use carbon table to assess expected carbon accumulation


Development of a forest carbon sequestration protocol for the state of georgia

Carbon Table

Loblolly, Natural, SI Low, Low Intensity Mngt, Unimproved genetics, Regional avg., No Thinning


Belowground carbon

Belowground Carbon

  • Belowground Biomass (Roots)

    • Research across a broad range of species on many sites indicates that ~20% of total tree biomass is belowground (roots)

    • Apply factor of 1.25 to merchantable volume to get an estimate of total carbon sequestered on forested sites

  • Soil carbon (mineral soils)

    • Hard to assess the quantitative rate at which soil can sequester carbon

    • Agreement on afforested ag. fields (min. 10 years in ag) carbon accumulation – 0.15 Mg per ha per year for 50 years


Carbon in forest products

Carbon in Forest Products

  • Allocation of carbon from trees to end use products and carbon disposition over time

    • Industrial roundwood harvest approach

    • Primary wood products approach

  • Using TPO studies for Georgia to identify preferable approach and regional detail (statewide vs. sub-regions)

  • USFS data region-wide


Carbon in forest products1

Carbon in Forest Products

Carbon Disposition, Softwood sawlog, 0-100 years


Remote sensing

Remote Sensing

  • Protocol for monitoring forest carbon with remote sensing and GIS database analysis

    • Individual landowners

    • GFC monitoring

  • Broad Scale Monitoring

    • Satellite imagery

    • Identification of changes in vegetation density


Remote sensing1

Remote Sensing

  • Initial Verification

    • Forest cover / no forest cover

    • Softwood / hardwood

    • Young / old (possibly)

  • Change detection

    • Identify clear cuts and partial cuts


Continuing work

Continuing Work

  • Testing and implementation

    • Reliability

    • Precision

  • Estimate and register sequestered forest carbon with cooperating forest landowners

  • Develop training and certification programs

  • Complete the website


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