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New publication explores Net Sector Productivity, a new carbon indicator that integrates climate change and forestry

posted Mar 30, 2016, 7:40 AM by
Just released: Carbon sequestration in managed temperate coniferous forests under climate change in Biogeosciences.

One of the challenges when designing forest management plans to mitigate climate change is accounting for the C that is sequestered in wood products.  Caren Dymond and her colleagues developed a new carbon indicator, the Net Sector Productivity (NSP), that integrates climate change adaptation and forest management practices.  Changes in NSP due to climate change was calculated for the a forested valley in British Columbia out to the year 2050.  More details below.

Abstract. Management of temperate forests has the potential to increase carbon sinks and mitigate climate change. However, those opportunities may be confounded by negative climate change impacts. We therefore need a better understanding of climate change alterations to temperate forest carbon dynamics before developing mitigation strategies. The purpose of this project was to investigate the interactions of species composition, fire, management, and climate change in the Copper–Pine Creek valley, a temperate coniferous forest with a wide range of growing conditions. To do so, we used the LANDIS-II modelling framework including the new Forest Carbon Succession extension to simulate forest ecosystems under four different productivity scenarios, with and without climate change effects, until 2050. Significantly, the new extension allowed us to calculate the net sector productivity, a carbon accounting metric that integrates aboveground and belowground carbon dynamics, disturbances, and the eventual fate of forest products. The model output was validated against literature values. The results implied that the species optimum growing conditions relative to current and future conditions strongly influenced future carbon dynamics. Warmer growing conditions led to increased carbon sinks and storage in the colder and wetter ecoregions but not necessarily in the others. Climate change impacts varied among species and site conditions, and this indicates that both of these components need to be taken into account when considering climate change mitigation activities and adaptive management. The introduction of a new carbon indicator, net sector productivity, promises to be useful in assessing management effectiveness and mitigation activities.

Citation: Dymond, C. C., Beukema, S., Nitschke, C. R., Coates, K. D., and Scheller, R. M.: Carbon sequestration in managed temperate coniferous forests under climate change, Biogeosciences, 13, 1933-1947, doi:10.5194/bg-13-1933-2016, 2016.
Mar 30, 2016, 7:41 AM