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Biomass and Carbon

Trees and down woody debrisPNW-RMA analysts and scientists assess the role of management practices in regional carbon stores and flux, and quantify changes in carbon stores.

Biomass estimates from comprehensive forest inventories are essential for quantifying the amount and distribution of carbon stocks, evaluating forests as a source of sustainable fuel (biomass for energy production), and conducting research on net primary productivity.

Recent Publications



  • BioSum

    Scientists and analysts at PNW-RMA analyze forest inventory data to learn about opportunities for landscape-scale fuel treatments, including the efficacy, outcomes and economic feasibility of those treatments. They developed the BioSum analysis framework to combine inventory data and models of treatment costs, haul costs, timber volume, and treatment effectiveness to address questions about:

    • Where processing facilities can be best located to utilize both 'energy wood' and merchantable timber.
    • What the best treatments are for reducing different aspects of fire risk or for maximizing forest resilience.
    • How much a comprehensive, landscape-wide fuel treatment effort would cost.
    • The implications of landscape-scale fuel treatments for forest carbon dynamics, including carbon transferred to product pools and to bioenergy.
  • Effects of management on forest carbon

    Researchers at PNW-RMA are assessing the consequences of alternative management strategies on regional carbon stores and flux.

  • Long-term carbon cycling

    PNW-RMA scientists are using inventory and satellite data to reconstruct long-term changes in carbon stores and identify the causes of flux.

  • Improving carbon estimates

    PNW-RMA researchers work to improve monitoring techniques and develop improved, unbiased equations for calculating tree volume, biomass, and carbon.

  • Estimating forest biomass and identifying low-intensity logging areas

    PNW-RMA researchers are estimating forest biomass and identifying low-intensity logging areas by using airborne scanning lidar in the western Brazilian Amazon

  • Using multi-level inventory designs

    Researchers are scaling field-based estimates of forest biomass to landscape and regional levels with remote sensing and models, specifically examining losses of information with scaling-induced generalization.

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