Forecasting Carbon Sequestration in Commercial Plantations

The purpose of the mixed species plantations in the study area of the Atherton Tablelands of north Queensland is environmental, that is they are not intended for harvest. Where forecasting carbon sequestration in commercial plantations is necessary, the usefulness of the NCAS is further illustrated. Under Kyoto Protocol rules the carbon in trees is lost to the atmosphere at harvest. It is also necessary to account for the carbon lost in thinnings and prunings. Figure 5.8 shows the forecast by CAMFor of carbon sequestered in a north Queensland plantation of hoop pine (Araucaria cunninghamii) that is harvested and replanted.

Modeling unharvested plantations enables a comparison of the benefit of forgoing the income from timber sales while gaining income from an

Notes: One tree (Ficus obliqua) with a diameter of almost 2 metres accounted for two-thirds of the carbon in gully bottom Plot 1; sampling procedures need to take account of the variation in carbon across old growth tropical forests. The results provided an average results of 308 tonnes of carbon per hectare, with a confidence level of 95% and a confidence limit of 10%.

Notes: One tree (Ficus obliqua) with a diameter of almost 2 metres accounted for two-thirds of the carbon in gully bottom Plot 1; sampling procedures need to take account of the variation in carbon across old growth tropical forests. The results provided an average results of 308 tonnes of carbon per hectare, with a confidence level of 95% and a confidence limit of 10%.

Source: Source of DBH data: R. Jensen, personal communication (2007).

Figure 5.7 Tonnes of carbon per hectare measured in sample plots stratified by terrain in an old growth rainforest in north Queensland increase in carbon sequestered. The outcome of the comparison depends on the relative prices of timber and sequestered carbon, the relative costs of maintaining the plantation for harvesting and sequestering carbon, and the discount rate.19

Modeling may also take account of the fact that carbon is sequestered in timber products. Figure 5.9 shows the total onsite carbon forecast for a hoop pine plantation that is unharvested and harvested, and where 35 percent of the carbon in the harvested timber is sequestered in product.

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