Improved models for estimating temporal changes in carbon sequestration in above-ground biomass of mixed-species environmental plantings

Keryn Paul, Stephen Roxburgh, Jacqueline England, Robert de Ligt, John Larmour, Kim Brooksbank, Simon Murphy, Peter Ritson, Trevor Hobbs, Tom Lewis, Noel Preece, Zoe Read, David Clifford, R John Raison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Plantings of mixed native species (termed 'environmental plantings') are increasingly being established for carbon sequestration whilst providing additional environmental benefits such as biodiversity and water quality. In Australia, they are currently one of the most common forms of reforestation. Investment in establishing and maintaining such plantings relies on having a cost-effective modelling approach to providing unbiased estimates of biomass production and carbon sequestration rates. In Australia, the Full Carbon Accounting Model (FullCAM) is used for both national greenhouse gas accounting and project-scale sequestration activities. Prior to undertaking the work presented here, the FullCAM tree growth curve was not calibrated specifically for environmental plantings and generally under-estimated their biomass. Here we collected and analysed above-ground biomass data from 605 mixed-species environmental plantings, and tested the effects of several planting characteristics on growth rates. Plantings were then categorised based on significant differences in growth rates. Growth of plantings differed between temperate and tropical regions. Tropical plantings were relatively uniform in terms of planting methods and their growth was largely related to stand age, consistent with the un-calibrated growth curve. However, in temperate regions where plantings were more variable, key factors influencing growth were planting width, stand density and species-mix (proportion of individuals that were trees). These categories provided the basis for FullCAM calibration. Although the overall model efficiency was only 39-46%, there was nonetheless no significant bias when the model was applied to the various planting categories. Thus, modelled estimates of biomass accumulation will be reliable on average, but estimates at any particular location will be uncertain, with either under- or over-prediction possible. When compared with the un-calibrated yield curves, predictions using the new calibrations show that early growth is likely to be more rapid and total above-ground biomass may be higher for many plantings at maturity. This study has considerably improved understanding of the patterns of growth in different types of environmental plantings, and in modelling biomass accumulation in young (
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-218
Number of pages11
JournalForest Ecology and Management
Volume338
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

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aboveground biomass
carbon sequestration
planting
biomass production
growth curve
biomass
prediction
carbon
calibration
stand density
reforestation
tropical region
greenhouse gases
tree growth
ecosystem services
native species
growth factors
modeling
tropics
greenhouse gas

Cite this

Paul, Keryn ; Roxburgh, Stephen ; England, Jacqueline ; de Ligt, Robert ; Larmour, John ; Brooksbank, Kim ; Murphy, Simon ; Ritson, Peter ; Hobbs, Trevor ; Lewis, Tom ; Preece, Noel ; Read, Zoe ; Clifford, David ; John Raison, R. / Improved models for estimating temporal changes in carbon sequestration in above-ground biomass of mixed-species environmental plantings. In: Forest Ecology and Management. 2015 ; Vol. 338, No. 8. pp. 208-218.
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title = "Improved models for estimating temporal changes in carbon sequestration in above-ground biomass of mixed-species environmental plantings",
abstract = "Plantings of mixed native species (termed 'environmental plantings') are increasingly being established for carbon sequestration whilst providing additional environmental benefits such as biodiversity and water quality. In Australia, they are currently one of the most common forms of reforestation. Investment in establishing and maintaining such plantings relies on having a cost-effective modelling approach to providing unbiased estimates of biomass production and carbon sequestration rates. In Australia, the Full Carbon Accounting Model (FullCAM) is used for both national greenhouse gas accounting and project-scale sequestration activities. Prior to undertaking the work presented here, the FullCAM tree growth curve was not calibrated specifically for environmental plantings and generally under-estimated their biomass. Here we collected and analysed above-ground biomass data from 605 mixed-species environmental plantings, and tested the effects of several planting characteristics on growth rates. Plantings were then categorised based on significant differences in growth rates. Growth of plantings differed between temperate and tropical regions. Tropical plantings were relatively uniform in terms of planting methods and their growth was largely related to stand age, consistent with the un-calibrated growth curve. However, in temperate regions where plantings were more variable, key factors influencing growth were planting width, stand density and species-mix (proportion of individuals that were trees). These categories provided the basis for FullCAM calibration. Although the overall model efficiency was only 39-46{\%}, there was nonetheless no significant bias when the model was applied to the various planting categories. Thus, modelled estimates of biomass accumulation will be reliable on average, but estimates at any particular location will be uncertain, with either under- or over-prediction possible. When compared with the un-calibrated yield curves, predictions using the new calibrations show that early growth is likely to be more rapid and total above-ground biomass may be higher for many plantings at maturity. This study has considerably improved understanding of the patterns of growth in different types of environmental plantings, and in modelling biomass accumulation in young (",
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Paul, K, Roxburgh, S, England, J, de Ligt, R, Larmour, J, Brooksbank, K, Murphy, S, Ritson, P, Hobbs, T, Lewis, T, Preece, N, Read, Z, Clifford, D & John Raison, R 2015, 'Improved models for estimating temporal changes in carbon sequestration in above-ground biomass of mixed-species environmental plantings', Forest Ecology and Management, vol. 338, no. 8, pp. 208-218. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2014.11.025

Improved models for estimating temporal changes in carbon sequestration in above-ground biomass of mixed-species environmental plantings. / Paul, Keryn; Roxburgh, Stephen; England, Jacqueline; de Ligt, Robert; Larmour, John; Brooksbank, Kim; Murphy, Simon; Ritson, Peter; Hobbs, Trevor; Lewis, Tom; Preece, Noel; Read, Zoe; Clifford, David; John Raison, R.

In: Forest Ecology and Management, Vol. 338, No. 8, 2015, p. 208-218.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Improved models for estimating temporal changes in carbon sequestration in above-ground biomass of mixed-species environmental plantings

AU - Paul, Keryn

AU - Roxburgh, Stephen

AU - England, Jacqueline

AU - de Ligt, Robert

AU - Larmour, John

AU - Brooksbank, Kim

AU - Murphy, Simon

AU - Ritson, Peter

AU - Hobbs, Trevor

AU - Lewis, Tom

AU - Preece, Noel

AU - Read, Zoe

AU - Clifford, David

AU - John Raison, R

PY - 2015

Y1 - 2015

N2 - Plantings of mixed native species (termed 'environmental plantings') are increasingly being established for carbon sequestration whilst providing additional environmental benefits such as biodiversity and water quality. In Australia, they are currently one of the most common forms of reforestation. Investment in establishing and maintaining such plantings relies on having a cost-effective modelling approach to providing unbiased estimates of biomass production and carbon sequestration rates. In Australia, the Full Carbon Accounting Model (FullCAM) is used for both national greenhouse gas accounting and project-scale sequestration activities. Prior to undertaking the work presented here, the FullCAM tree growth curve was not calibrated specifically for environmental plantings and generally under-estimated their biomass. Here we collected and analysed above-ground biomass data from 605 mixed-species environmental plantings, and tested the effects of several planting characteristics on growth rates. Plantings were then categorised based on significant differences in growth rates. Growth of plantings differed between temperate and tropical regions. Tropical plantings were relatively uniform in terms of planting methods and their growth was largely related to stand age, consistent with the un-calibrated growth curve. However, in temperate regions where plantings were more variable, key factors influencing growth were planting width, stand density and species-mix (proportion of individuals that were trees). These categories provided the basis for FullCAM calibration. Although the overall model efficiency was only 39-46%, there was nonetheless no significant bias when the model was applied to the various planting categories. Thus, modelled estimates of biomass accumulation will be reliable on average, but estimates at any particular location will be uncertain, with either under- or over-prediction possible. When compared with the un-calibrated yield curves, predictions using the new calibrations show that early growth is likely to be more rapid and total above-ground biomass may be higher for many plantings at maturity. This study has considerably improved understanding of the patterns of growth in different types of environmental plantings, and in modelling biomass accumulation in young (

AB - Plantings of mixed native species (termed 'environmental plantings') are increasingly being established for carbon sequestration whilst providing additional environmental benefits such as biodiversity and water quality. In Australia, they are currently one of the most common forms of reforestation. Investment in establishing and maintaining such plantings relies on having a cost-effective modelling approach to providing unbiased estimates of biomass production and carbon sequestration rates. In Australia, the Full Carbon Accounting Model (FullCAM) is used for both national greenhouse gas accounting and project-scale sequestration activities. Prior to undertaking the work presented here, the FullCAM tree growth curve was not calibrated specifically for environmental plantings and generally under-estimated their biomass. Here we collected and analysed above-ground biomass data from 605 mixed-species environmental plantings, and tested the effects of several planting characteristics on growth rates. Plantings were then categorised based on significant differences in growth rates. Growth of plantings differed between temperate and tropical regions. Tropical plantings were relatively uniform in terms of planting methods and their growth was largely related to stand age, consistent with the un-calibrated growth curve. However, in temperate regions where plantings were more variable, key factors influencing growth were planting width, stand density and species-mix (proportion of individuals that were trees). These categories provided the basis for FullCAM calibration. Although the overall model efficiency was only 39-46%, there was nonetheless no significant bias when the model was applied to the various planting categories. Thus, modelled estimates of biomass accumulation will be reliable on average, but estimates at any particular location will be uncertain, with either under- or over-prediction possible. When compared with the un-calibrated yield curves, predictions using the new calibrations show that early growth is likely to be more rapid and total above-ground biomass may be higher for many plantings at maturity. This study has considerably improved understanding of the patterns of growth in different types of environmental plantings, and in modelling biomass accumulation in young (

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DO - 10.1016/j.foreco.2014.11.025

M3 - Article

VL - 338

SP - 208

EP - 218

JO - Forest Ecology and Management

JF - Forest Ecology and Management

SN - 0378-1127

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