Choice of method

Estimation of changes in carbon stocks in DOM requires an estimate of changes in stocks of dead wood and changes in litter stocks (refer to Equation 2.17 in Chapter 2). The decision tree in Chapter 1, Figure 1.2 helps in the selection of the appropriate tier level for the implementation of estimation procedures.

The dead wood and litter pools are treated separately, but the method for estimating changes in each pool is the same.

Tier 1

The Tier 1 method assumes that the dead wood and litter stocks are at equilibrium, so there is no need to estimate the carbon stock changes for these pools. Thus, there is no worksheet provided for DOM in Grassland Remaining Grassland. Countries experiencing significant changes in grassland types or disturbance or management regimes in their grasslands are encouraged to develop domestic data to quantify this impact and report it under Tier 2 or 3 methodologies.

Tiers 2 and 3

Tiers 2 and 3 allow for calculation of changes in dead wood and litter carbon due to management practices. Two methods are suggested for estimating the carbon stock change in DOM.

Gain-Loss Method (Equation 2.18 in Chapter 2): This method involves estimating the area of grassland management categories and the average annual transfer into and out of dead wood and litter stocks. This requires: (i) an estimate of the area under Grassland Remaining Grassland according to different climate or ecological zones or grassland types, disturbance regime, management regime, or other factors significantly affecting dead wood and litter carbon pools; (ii) the quantity of biomass transferred into dead wood and litter stocks; and (iii) the quantity of biomass transferred out of the dead wood and litter stocks on per hectare basis according to different grassland types.

Stock-Difference Method (Equation 2.19 in Chapter 2): This method involves estimating the area of grassland and the dead wood and litter stocks at two periods of time, t1 and t2. The dead wood and litter stock changes for the inventory year are obtained by dividing the stock changes by the period (years) between two measurements. The Stock-Difference Method is feasible for countries, which have periodic grassland inventories. This method may not be well suited to regions with very variable climates and may produce spurious results unless annual inventories can be made. This method is more suitable for countries adopting Tier 3 methods. Tier 3 methods are used where countries have country-specific emission factors, and substantial national data. Country-defined methodology may be based on detailed inventories of permanent sample plots for their grasslands and/or models.

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