Canadian Forest Service Publications

The carbon budget of the Canadian forest sector: Phase I. 1992. Kurz, W.A.; Apps, M.J.; Webb, T.M.; McNamee, P.J. Forestry Canada, Northwest Region, Northern Forestry Centre, Edmonton, Alberta. Information Report NOR-X-326E. 93 p.

Year: 1992

Issued by: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 11881

Language: English

Series: Information Report (NoFC - Edmonton)

Availability: Order paper copy (free), PDF (download)

Mark record


An assessment of the contribution of Canadian forest ecosystems and forestry activities to the global carbon budget was undertaken. The first phase of this study consisted of the development of a computer modeling framework and the use of published information to establish the sector's current role as a net source or a net sink of atmospheric carbon. The framework includes age-dependent carbon sequestration by living forest biomass, net detrital litter fall of carbon to the forest floor, subsequent accumulation and decomposition release in three soil compartments, retention of carbon in manufactured products derived from harvested forest biomass, and burning of forest biomass for energy. There is explicit representation of the role of ecosystem disturbances, such as fire, insect-induced stand mortality, and harvesting (clear-cutting, clear-cutting and slash burning, and partial cutting), as they affect carbon releases and transfers to the forest floor and to the forest product sector. Regrowth of biomass and changes in soil decomposition processes following disturbance are also simulated within the model. In the first phase of the work, national and provincial data bases were used to provide the first comprehensive estimates of the net carbon exchange between Canadian forest ecosystems and the atmosphere for the reference year 1986.

Also available under the title:
Le bilan du carbone du secteur des forĂȘts du Canada: Phase I. (French)