NE - RWU 4104

Last modified 11/15/2005

Smith, James E.; Heath, Linda S.; Woodbury, Peter B. 2004.

How to estimate forest carbon for large areas from inventory data.

Journal of Forestry.


Carbon sequestration through forest growth provides a low-cost approach for meeting state and national goals to reduce net accumulations of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Total forest ecosystem carbon stocks include "pools" in live trees, standing dead trees, understory vegetation, down dead wood, forest floor, and soil. Determining the level of carbon stocks in forest ecosystems has become a concern of governments, businesses, and many organizations. This article provides examples of inventory-based calculations and identifies resources that are available for analysts and planners to develop large-scale carbon estimates consistent with totals for US forests. Estimates can be based on current regional averages classified according to region, forest type, ownership, or stand size class; on stand-level inventory data, measured or calculated; or on locally specific information, such as individual tree sizes or other data acquired from sampling a specific forest.

Keywords: climate change; sequestration

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