Canadian Forest Service Publications

Optimizing carbon sequestration in commercial forests by integrating carbon management objectives in wood supply modeling. 2007. Bourque, C.P-A.; Neilson, E.T.; Gruenwald, C.; Perrin, S.F.; Hiltz, J.C.; Blin, Y.A.; Horsman, G.V.; Parker, M.S.; Thorburn, C.B.; Corey, M.M.; Meng, F.-R.; Swift, D.E. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change 12: 1253-1275.

Year: 2007

Issued by: Atlantic Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 26867

Language: English

Availability: PDF (download)

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This paper provides a methodology for generating forest management plans, which explicitly maximize carbon (C) sequestration at the forest-landscape level. This paper takes advantage of concepts first presented in a paper by Meng et al. (2003) by integrating C-sequestration objective functions in existing wood supply models. Carbon-stock calculations performed in Woodstock TM (RemSoft Inc.) are based on C yields generated from volume table data obtained from local Forest Development Survey plots and a series of wood volume-to-C content conversion factors specified in von Mirbach (2000)). The approach is used to investigate the impact of three deomnstration forest-management scenarios on the C budget in a 110,000 ha forest in south-central New Brunswick, Canada. Explicit demonstration scenarios addressed include (1) maximizing timber extraction either by clearcut or selection harvesting for greatest revenue generation, (2) maximizing total C storage in the forest landscape and in wood products generated from harvesting, and (3) maximizing C storage together with revenue generation. The level of clearcut harvesting was greatest for scenario 1 (>/=15 X 104 cubic meters of wood and >/=943 ha of land per harvesting period), and least for scenario 2 (=0 cubic meters per harvesting period) where selection harvesting dominated. Because softwood saw logs were worth more than pulpwood ($60 m-3 vs. $40 m-3) and were strategic to the long-term storage of C, the production of softwood was generally the preferred harvesting method across scenarios. Only in scenario 1 did levels of clearcut harvesting occasionally exceed those of selection harvesting, mainly in the removal of old, dilapidated stands early in the simulation (i.e., during periods 1 through 3). Scenario 2 provided the greatest total C-storage increase over 80 years (i.e., 14 X 106 Mg C, or roughly 264 Mg ha -1) at a cost of $111 per Mg C due to lost revenues. Scenarios 3 and 1 produced reduced storage rates of roughly 9 X 106 Mg C and 3 X 106 Mg C, respectively; about 64% and 22% of the total, 80-year C storage calculated in scenario 2. The bulk of the C in scenario 2 was stored in the forest, amounting to about 76% of te total C sequestered.