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Assessing the effects of forest management techniques on sequestering carbon in northern woodlots

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Assessing the effects of forest management techniques on sequestering carbon in northern woodlots

Paquin, Karen (2011) Assessing the effects of forest management techniques on sequestering carbon in northern woodlots. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Canadian woodlots can play an important role in mitigating climate change through increased carbon sequestration. I conducted a survey of private woodlot owners in Ontario to address three questions related to forest carbon storage and forest management techniques (FMT). The survey responses showed that the largest portion of woodlot owners in this study (46%) is not actively engaged in forest management on their properties, opting for natural succession. Using the data from the survey, I completed four sets of simulations with the CBM-CFS3 model. The simulation results indicated that current carbon storage on the woodlots is 240,753 tons and, if all the landowners let their forests grow without management (natural succession), in 300 years, carbon storage will increase to 501,236 tons. The FMT that stored the greatest amount of carbon over the long-term was a 10% commercial thinning (665,007 tons). Adding a 60-year rotation interval to the 10% commercial thinning increased carbon storage even more (791,027 tons). Conversely, clearcuts and wildfires had devastating effects on carbon storage. After a clearcut or wildfire, transitioning to a red pine forest recovered more lost carbon than any FMT or natural succession. All of these are long-term perspectives, but in the short-term, natural succession may be the best method for storing carbon. However, what made this investigation most interesting was the complexities of the woodlots themselves, their stand make-up, ownership and uses. The diversity of these woodlots may offer a path of least resistance to increasing carbon storage on them.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Geography, Planning and Environment
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Paquin, Karen
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M. Sc.
Program:Geography, Urban & Environmental Studies
Date:26 April 2011
Thesis Supervisor(s):Matthews, Damon and Jaeger, Jochen
ID Code:7430
Deposited By:KAREN PAQUIN
Deposited On:13 Jun 2011 09:15
Last Modified:13 Jun 2011 09:15
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