Canadian Forest Service Publications

Taking stock of circumboreal forest carbon with ground measurements, airborne and spaceborne LiDAR. 2013. Neigh, C.R.S.; Nelson, R.F.; Ranson, K.J.; Margolis, H.A.; Montesano, P.M.; Sun, G.; Kharuk, V.; Næsset, E.; Wulder, M.A.; Andersen, H-E. Remote Sensing of Environment. 137:274-287.

Year: 2013

Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 34942

Language: English

Availability: PDF (download)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1016/j.rse.2013.06.019

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The boreal forest accounts for one-third of global forests, but remains largely inaccessible to ground-based measurements and monitoring. It contains large quantities of carbon in its vegetation and soils, and research suggests that it will be subject to increasingly severe climate-driven disturbance. We employ a suite of ground-, airborne- and space-based measurement techniques to derive the first satellite LiDAR-based estimates of aboveground carbon for the entire circumboreal forest biome. Incorporating these inventory techniques with uncertainty analysis, we estimate total aboveground carbon of 38 ± 3.1 Pg. This boreal forest carbon is mostly concentrated from 50 to 55° N in eastern Canada and from 55 to 60° N in eastern Eurasia. Both of these regions are expected to warm N3 °C by 2100, and monitoring the effects of warming on these stocks is important to understanding its future carbon balance. Our maps establish a baseline for future quantification of circumboreal carbon and the described technique should provide a robust method for future monitoring of the spatial and temporal changes of the aboveground carbon content.