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Carbon Offset Potentials of Four Alternative Forest Management Strategies in Canada: A Simulation Study

  • Wenjun Chen
  • Jing M. Chen
  • David T. Price
  • Josef Cihlar
  • Jane Liu
Article

Abstract

Using an Integrated TerrestrialEcosystem C-budget model (InTEC), we simulated thecarbon (C) offset potentials of four alternativeforest management strategies in Canada: afforestation,reforestation, nitrogen (N) fertilization, andsubstitution of fossil fuel with wood, under differentclimatic and disturbance scenarios. C offset potentialis defined as additional C uptake by forest ecosystemsor reduced fossil C emissions when a strategy isimplemented to the theoretical maximum possibleextent. The simulations provided the followingestimated gains from management: (1) Afforesting allthe estimated ∼ 7.2 Mha of marginal agricultural landand urban areas in 1999 would create an average Coffset potential of ∼ 8 Tg C y-1 during 1999–2100,at a cost of 3.4 Tg fossil C emission in 1999. (2)Prompt reforestation of all forest lands disturbed inthe previous year during 1999–2100 would produce anaverage C offset potential of ∼ 57 Tg C y-1 forthis period, at a cost of 1.33 Tg C y-1. (3)Application of N fertilization (at the low rate of 5kg N ha-1 y-1) to the ∼ 125 Mha ofsemi-mature forest during 1999–2100 would create anaverage C offset of ∼58 Tg C y-1 for this period,at a cost of ∼0.24 Tg C y-1. (4) Increasingforest harvesting by 20% above current average ratesduring 1999–2100, and using the extra wood products tosubstitute for fossil energy would reduce averageemissions by ∼11 Tg C y-1, at a cost of 0.54 TgC y-1. If implemented to the maximum extent, thecombined C offset potential of all four strategieswould be 2–7 times the GHG emission reductionsprojected for the National Action Plan for ClimateChange (NAPCC) initiatives during 2000–2020, and anorder of magnitude larger than the projected increasein C uptake by Canada's agricultural soils due toimproved agricultural practices during 2000–2010.

afforestation Canada C cost C offsetpotential climate change mitigation forestmanagement fossil fuel substitution low-rate Nfertilization reforestation 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wenjun Chen
    • 1
  • Jing M. Chen
    • 1
  • David T. Price
    • 2
  • Josef Cihlar
    • 1
  • Jane Liu
    • 1
  1. 1.Applications DivisionCanada Centre for Remote SensingCanada
  2. 2.Northern Forestry CentreCanadian Forest ServiceCanada

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