Carbon Balance and Management Journal - Latest articles

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The latest research articles published by Carbon Balance and Management
Updated: 3 years 2 weeks ago

Analysis of biophysical and anthropogenic variables and their relation to the regional spatial variation of aboveground biomass illustrated for North and East Kalimantan, Borneo

Fri, 09/19/2014 - 8:00am
Background: Land use and land cover change occurring in tropical forest landscapes contributes substantially to carbon emissions. Better insights into the spatial variation of aboveground biomass is therefore needed. By means of multiple statistical tests, including geographically weighted regression, we analysed the effects of eight variables on the regional spatial variation of aboveground biomass. North and East Kalimantan were selected as the case study region; the third largest carbon emitting Indonesian provinces. Results: Strong positive relationships were found between aboveground biomass and the tested variables; altitude, slope, land allocation zoning, soil type, and distance to the nearest fire, road, river and city. Furthermore, the results suggest that the regional spatial variation of aboveground biomass can be largely attributed to altitude, distance to nearest fire and land allocation zoning. Conclusions: Our study showed that in this landscape, aboveground biomass could not be explained by one single variable; the variables were interrelated, with altitude as the dominant variable. Spatial analyses should therefore integrate a variety of biophysical and anthropogenic variables to provide a better understanding of spatial variation in aboveground biomass. Efforts to minimise carbon emissions should incorporate the identified factors, by 1) the maintenance of lands with high AGB or carbon stocks, namely in the identified zones at the higher altitudes; and 2) regeneration or sustainable utilisation of lands with low AGB or carbon stocks, dependent on the regeneration capacity of the vegetation. Low aboveground biomass densities can be found in the lowlands in burned areas, and in non-forest zones and production forests.
Categories: Carbon Finance News

Analysis of biophysical and anthropogenic variables and their relation to the regional spatial variation of aboveground biomass illustrated for North and East Kalimantan, Borneo

Thu, 09/18/2014 - 8:00pm
Background: Land use and land cover change occurring in tropical forest landscapes contributes substantially to carbon emissions. Better insights into the spatial variation of aboveground biomass is therefore needed. By means of multiple statistical tests, including geographically weighted regression, we analysed the effects of eight variables on the regional spatial variation of aboveground biomass. North and East Kalimantan were selected as the case study region; the third largest carbon emitting Indonesian provinces. Results: Strong positive relationships were found between aboveground biomass and the tested variables; altitude, slope, land allocation zoning, soil type, and distance to the nearest fire, road, river and city. Furthermore, the results suggest that the regional spatial variation of aboveground biomass can be largely attributed to altitude, distance to nearest fire and land allocation zoning. Conclusions: Our study showed that in this landscape, aboveground biomass could not be explained by one single variable; the variables were interrelated, with altitude as the dominant variable. Spatial analyses should therefore integrate a variety of biophysical and anthropogenic variables to provide a better understanding of spatial variation in aboveground biomass. Efforts to minimise carbon emissions should incorporate the identified factors, by 1) the maintenance of lands with high AGB or carbon stocks, namely in the identified zones at the higher altitudes; and 2) regeneration or sustainable utilisation of lands with low AGB or carbon stocks, dependent on the regeneration capacity of the vegetation. Low aboveground biomass densities can be found in the lowlands in burned areas, and in non-forest zones and production forests.
Categories: Carbon Finance News

A wood density and aboveground biomass variability assessment using pre-felling inventory data in Costa Rica

Wed, 09/17/2014 - 8:00am
Background: The high spatio-temporal variability of aboveground biomass (AGB) in tropical forests is a large source of uncertainty in forest carbon stock estimation. Due to their spatial distribution and sampling intensity, pre-felling inventories are a potential source of ground level data that could help reduce this uncertainty at larger spatial scales. Further, exploring the factors known to influence tropical forest biomass, such as wood density and large tree density, will improve our knowledge of biomass distribution across tropical regions. Here, we evaluate (1) the variability of wood density and (2) the variability of AGB across five ecosystems of Costa Rica. Results: Using forest management (pre-felling) inventories we found that, of the regions studied, Huetar Norte had the highest mean wood density of trees with a diameter at breast height (DBH) greater than or equal to 30 cm, 0.623 ± 0.182 g cm−3 (mean ± standard deviation). Although the greatest wood density was observed in Huetar Norte, the highest mean estimated AGB (EAGB) of trees with a DBH greater than or equal to 30 cm was observed in Osa peninsula (173.47 ± 60.23 Mg ha−1). The density of large trees explained approximately 50% of EAGB variability across the five ecosystems studied. Comparing our study’s EAGB to published estimates reveals that, in the regions of Costa Rica where AGB has been previously sampled, our forest management data produced similar values. Conclusions: This study presents the most spatially rich analysis of ground level AGB data in Costa Rica to date. Using forest management data, we found that EAGB within and among five Costa Rican ecosystems is highly variable. Combining commercial logging inventories with ecological plots will provide a more representative ground level dataset for the calibration of the models and remotely sensed data used to EAGB at regional and national scales. Additionally, because the non-protected areas of the tropics offer the greatest opportunity to reduce rates of deforestation and forest degradation, logging inventories offer a promising source of data to support mechanisms such as the United Nations REDD + (Reducing Emissions from Tropical Deforestation and Degradation) program.
Categories: Carbon Finance News

Forest biomass change estimated from height change in interferometric SAR height models

Wed, 09/10/2014 - 8:00am
Background: There is a need for new satellite remote sensing methods for monitoring tropical forest carbon stocks. Advanced RADAR instruments on board satellites can contribute with novel methods. RADARs can see through clouds, and furthermore, by applying stereo RADAR imaging we can measure forest height and its changes. Such height changes are related to carbon stock changes in the biomass. We here apply data from the current Tandem-X satellite mission, where two RADAR equipped satellites go in close formation providing stereo imaging. We combine that with similar data acquired with one of the space shuttles in the year 2000, i.e. the so-called SRTM mission. We derive height information from a RADAR image pair using a method called interferometry. Results: We demonstrate an approach for REDD based on interferometry data from a boreal forest in Norway. We fitted a model to the data where above-ground biomass in the forest increases with 15 t/ha for every m increase of the height of the RADAR echo. When the RADAR echo is at the ground the estimated biomass is zero, and when it is 20 m above the ground the estimated above-ground biomass is 300 t/ha. Using this model we obtained fairly accurate estimates of biomass changes from 2000 to 2011. For 200 m2 plots we obtained an accuracy of 65 t/ha, which corresponds to 50% of the mean above-ground biomass value. We also demonstrate that this method can be applied without having accurate terrain heights and without having former in-situ biomass data, both of which are generally lacking in tropical countries. The gain in accuracy was marginal when we included such data in the estimation. Finally, we demonstrate that logging and other biomass changes can be accurately mapped. A biomass change map based on interferometry corresponded well to a very accurate map derived from repeated scanning with airborne laser. Conclusions: Satellite based, stereo imaging with advanced RADAR instruments appears to be a promising method for REDD. Interferometric processing of the RADAR data provides maps of forest height changes from which we can estimate temporal changes in biomass and carbon.
Categories: Carbon Finance News

These are the days of lasers in the jungle

Wed, 09/03/2014 - 8:00am
For tropical forest carbon to be commoditized, a consistent, globally verifiable system for reporting and monitoring carbon stocks and emissions must be achieved. We call for a global airborne LiDAR campaign that will measure the 3-D structure of each hectare of forested (and formerly forested) land in the tropics. We believe such a database could be assembled for only 5% of funding already pledged to offset tropical forest carbon emissions.
Categories: Carbon Finance News

Short and long-term carbon balance of bioenergy electricity production fueled by forest treatments

Wed, 09/03/2014 - 8:00am
Background: Forests store large amounts of carbon in forest biomass, and this carbon can be released to the atmosphere following forest disturbance or management. In the western US, forest fuel reduction treatments designed to reduce the risk of high severity wildfire can change forest carbon balance by removing carbon in the form of biomass, and by altering future potential wildfire behavior in the treated stand. Forest treatment carbon balance is further affected by the fate of this biomass removed from the forest, and the occurrence and intensity of a future wildfire in this stand. In this study we investigate the carbon balance of a forest treatment with varying fates of harvested biomass, including use for bioenergy electricity production, and under varying scenarios of future disturbance and regeneration. Results: Bioenergy is a carbon intensive energy source; in our study we find that carbon emissions from bioenergy electricity production are nearly twice that of coal for the same amount of electricity. However, some emissions from bioenergy electricity production are offset by avoided fossil fuel electricity emissions. The carbon benefit achieved by using harvested biomass for bioenergy electricity production may be increased through avoided pyrogenic emissions if the forest treatment can effectively reduce severity. Conclusion: Forest treatments with the use of harvested biomass for electricity generation can reduce carbon emissions to the atmosphere by offsetting fossil fuel electricity generation emissions, and potentially by avoided pyrogenic emissions due to reduced intensity and severity of a future wildfire in the treated stand. However, changes in future wildfire and regeneration regimes may affect forest carbon balance and these climate-induced changes may influence forest carbon balance as much, or more, than bioenergy production.
Categories: Carbon Finance News