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Harvested wood products and carbon sink in a young beech high forest

Author(s): Fontanella F | Penzo D | Anfodillo T | Dalla Valle E | Pilli R

Journal: Forest@
ISSN 1824-0119

Volume: 5;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 57;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Keywords: Kyoto Protocol | Forest management | Harvested wood products | Carbon sink

According to art. 3.4 of the Kyoto Protocol (KP), Italy has elected forest management as additional human-induced activity to attain the goal of reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. The whole forest area not subjected to afforestation, reforestation or deforestation processes since 1990 will be considered as managed forest. In order to analyse different management strategies, the Carbon-Pro Project, involving 9 partners of the European CADSES area, considered a young beech high forest (ex-coppice, defined as "transitory silvicultural system") as a common case study for the Pre-alps region. Using data collected with forest plans during the period 1983 - 2005, aboveground and belowground forest carbon stock and sink of a specific forest compartment were estimated by the Carbon Stock Method proposed by the IPCC Guidelines. In order to apply this approach 41 trees were cut and a species-specific allometric equation was developed. Considering the aboveground tree biomass, the carbon sink amounts to 1.99 and 1.84 Mg C ha-1 y-1 for the period 1983 - 1994 and 1994 - 2005 respectively. Adding the belowground tree biomass, the estimated sink amounts to 2.59 and 2.39 Mg C ha-1 y-1 for each period. Taking the harvested wood products (firewood), the total carbon sequestration during the second period is 0.16 Mg C ha-1 y-1. The case study highlights the possible rules for the different management strategies. In effect, the utilisation of the entire increase in aboveground biomass as firewood gives an energy substitution effect but, according to the Marrakesh Accords, it cannot be accounted for the KP. On the other hand, an accumulation strategy gives the maximum possible carbon absorption and retention.
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