Choice of method

The decision tree in Chapter 2, Figure 2.3 provides assistance in the selection of the appropriate tier level for the implementation of estimation procedures. 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).

Each of the DOM pools (dead wood and litter) is to be treated separately, but the method for determining changes in each pool is the same.

Tier 1

The Tier 1 method assumes that the dead wood and litter stocks are not present in Cropland or are at equilibrium as in agroforestry systems and orchards. Thus, there is no need to estimate the carbon stock changes for these pools.

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.

Method 1 (Also called the Gain-Loss Method, Equation 2.18 in Chapter 2): Method 1 involves estimating the area of cropland management categories and the average annual transfer into and out of dead wood and litter stocks. This requires an estimate of area under Cropland Remaining Cropland according to: i) different climate or cropland types; ii) management regime, or other factors significantly affecting dead wood and litter carbon pools; and iii) the quantity of biomass transferred into dead wood and litter stocks as well as the quantity of biomass transferred out of the dead wood and litter stocks on per hectare basis according to different cropland types.

Method 2 (Also called the Stock-Difference Method, Equation 2.19 in Chapter 2): Method 2 involves estimating the area of cropland 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. Method 2 is feasible for countries which have periodic inventories. This method is more suitable for countries adopting Tier 3 methods. Tier 3 methods are used where countries have country-specific emission factors and national data. Country-defined methodology may be based on detailed inventories of permanent sample plots for their croplands and/or models.

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