The complexities of biomass and carbon modeling

General discussions of measurement techniques and the results of testing of techniques and equipment.

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The complexities of biomass and carbon modeling

Post by dbhguru » Sat Nov 07, 2020 8:14 am


A paper co-authored by Dr. William Moomaw and Dr. Susan Masino and yours truly has been submitted to Frontiers, a publishing house for scientific papers. It has to go through a peer review, and I have no idea as to what the outcome of that will be. The paper is on the rates and amounts of carbon sequestered by mature white pines. The title of the paper is Older eastern white pine trees and stands sequester carbon for many decades and maximize cumulative carbon . It has been a bear to produce, and it is only one of many in a field increasing crowded with research at all levels of erudition.

Throughout the drafting of this paper, NTS tree-measuring protocols and methods guided me, as the field technician doing the on-the-ground work. However, throughout the study, I have come to realize that tree-measuring is a field that is much, much more extensive than I had ever fully realized. It isn't if that forest biometricians have been laying down on the job. To the contrary, it is that they have produced so many method and models of varying complexity that nobody can be sure of where the science currently stands or which models are the best. In an odd turn of events, this has opened the door to an unanticipated level of opportunity for NTS participation. Why? Because we have the experience in measuring trees in the field, on the ground, and can test different models to identify ones that work or don't work for a species, age class, or perhaps geographical area.

Because of its intense mathematical nature, I understandably don't get much comment on this topic, but I've continued to post because it gives me a repository to reference in other works and communications. However, I would be delighted to see interest grow on the part of others of you in testing out biometric models with our methods of measuring. I should also point out that Jared Lockwood has become my partner in measuring and testing, and in many ways, he's the heir apparent, so long as he chooses. He has all the skills and the interest, and is fast becoming the principal tree measurer of the two if us. His mobility is immensely greater than mine these days. So he can quickly climb a steep ridge to get a better angle on a target.

Well, enough rambling. Later today, Monica and I will be on our way to meet forest ecologist Dr. Julie Richburg and forester Mike Mauri in MTSF, where I will get their assistance in designing a study within the Elders Grove. It is step one toward setting up a series of plots in the Massachusetts Forests Reserves to quantify the carbon in those forests and measure the rates of acquisition.The study will probably make heavy use of the FIA-COLE volume-biomass model that I frequently tout.

Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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