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Carbon stocks and sequestration in plantation forests in the Republic of Ireland

Byrne, Kenneth A.; Milne, Ronald. 2006 Carbon stocks and sequestration in plantation forests in the Republic of Ireland. Forestry, 79. 361-369. 10.1093/forestry/cpl026

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Abstract/Summary

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol (KP) have created a clear need for methods that enable accurate accounting of carbon (C) stocks and stock changes in forest ecosystems. The rate of accumulation of C in plantation forests in the Republic of Ireland was estimated for the period 1906–2002 using the record of afforestation and a dynamic C accounting model (C-flow). Projections for the period 2003–2012 were made using different afforestation rates. It was assumed that Sitka spruce planted in the period 1906–1989 was Yield Class (YC) 16 m3 ha–1 year–1 and that after 1990 this increased to 20 m3 ha–1 year–1. All other conifers were assumed to have the growth characteristics of YC 8 m3 ha–1 year–1 lodgepole pine. Broadleaves were assumed to have the growth characteristics of YC 6 m3 ha–1 year–1 beech. In 2002, the total forest C stock was 37.7 Mt C representing an increase of 14.8 Mt C since 1990. In 2002, the rate of increase in trees, products, litter and soil was 0.7, 0.1, 0.1 and 0.5 Mt C, respectively. Under a business-as-usual scenario, afforestation since 1990 is estimated to create an annual average C sink of 0.9 Mt C year–1 during the period 2008–2012. This accounts for 22 per cent of Ireland's reduction commitment under the KP. Afforestation on peat soils was found to reduce the net C sink, although the extent to which it does so is highly dependent on assumptions regarding the rate of peat C loss.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1093/forestry/cpl026
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Biogeochemistry
CEH Sections: _ Biosystems Dynamics
ISSN: 0015-752X
NORA Subject Terms: Botany
Meteorology and Climatology
Ecology and Environment
Atmospheric Sciences
Date made live: 25 Apr 2008 08:52
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/2274

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