Title

Carbon Sequestration Totals in a Managed Mixed Coniferous Forest vs. an Unmanaged Mixed Coniferous Forest

Poster Number

47

Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Artist Statement

A forest is a known source of carbon storage. Live trees are carbon sinks, as they grow absorb carbon. Dead trees are carbon sources, and through decomposition, release carbon back into the atmosphere. Questions have been raised as to whether it is more prudent to remove a small percentage of forest and risk losing valuable sources of carbon storage as opposed to not treating and run the risk of losing a forest to catastrophic wildfire. My hypothesis is that a forest that has been treated will store a higher percentage of carbon than an untreated forest. This study was conducted to determine whether the total amount of forest biomass in a treated forest holds more carbon than in an untreated forest.The study site is the South Grove of Calaveras Big Trees State Park. In addition to containing a relatively undisturbed mixed coniferous old growth forest, it is home to approximately 900 giant sequoias, whose biomass were included in the study.1/10th hectare plots were established in randomly selected located within the basin; 5 were treated with a combination of mechanical thinning and fire, and 5 were left untreated. The plots were inventoried for live tree biomass, standing dead biomass, below ground biomass and lying dead/litter biomass. Protocols designed by the California Climate Action Registry were followed and formulas used for extrapolating the statistics were obtained from the California Energy Commission and other sources.Preliminary results show that a treated forest containing healthy trees does store more carbon than an untreated forest, which contains large amounts of dead woody fuels and growth suppressed trees. Further analysis is needed to confirm.

Location

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom B

Start Date

1-5-2010 1:00 PM

End Date

1-5-2010 3:00 PM

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Carbon Sequestration Totals in a Managed Mixed Coniferous Forest vs. an Unmanaged Mixed Coniferous Forest

DeRosa University Center, Ballroom B

A forest is a known source of carbon storage. Live trees are carbon sinks, as they grow absorb carbon. Dead trees are carbon sources, and through decomposition, release carbon back into the atmosphere. Questions have been raised as to whether it is more prudent to remove a small percentage of forest and risk losing valuable sources of carbon storage as opposed to not treating and run the risk of losing a forest to catastrophic wildfire. My hypothesis is that a forest that has been treated will store a higher percentage of carbon than an untreated forest. This study was conducted to determine whether the total amount of forest biomass in a treated forest holds more carbon than in an untreated forest.The study site is the South Grove of Calaveras Big Trees State Park. In addition to containing a relatively undisturbed mixed coniferous old growth forest, it is home to approximately 900 giant sequoias, whose biomass were included in the study.1/10th hectare plots were established in randomly selected located within the basin; 5 were treated with a combination of mechanical thinning and fire, and 5 were left untreated. The plots were inventoried for live tree biomass, standing dead biomass, below ground biomass and lying dead/litter biomass. Protocols designed by the California Climate Action Registry were followed and formulas used for extrapolating the statistics were obtained from the California Energy Commission and other sources.Preliminary results show that a treated forest containing healthy trees does store more carbon than an untreated forest, which contains large amounts of dead woody fuels and growth suppressed trees. Further analysis is needed to confirm.