Modelling the carbon sequestration of a mixed, uneven-aged, managed forest using the process model SECRETS: chapter 13
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Wallingford :CABI, 2003
Modelling forest system / Amaro, A. [edit.]
University of Antwerp
Currently there is a high demand for knowledge on the actual and attainable carbon sequestration in existing forests, and the influence of forest management thereon. Although process models have proved their worth in simulating and forecasting growth and yield of even-aged, single-species, regularly spaced forests, their applicability to uneven-aged, mixed-species, patchy forests is less well documented. By describing a complex forest as a combination of multiple simple patches, it is possible to simulate the total ecosystem with a relatively small number of parameters. In this case study, the process model SECRETS was adapted and parameterized to simulate C sequestration in the different compartments (both above- and below-ground) of Meerdaalwoud, a mixed deciduous-coniferous forest in central Belgium. The current management consists of an increase in untouched forest reserve area (to 10% of the total area) and a gradual replacement of exotic species (several pine species) with native species managed in a low-impact silvicultural system. The results indicate that SECRETS is able both to simulate the current yield and to predict the future effect of current changes in management. The results indicate that a gradual change from the current situation to a more natural one will increase C content of the ecosystem by 22.9 t/ha under current climatic conditions or 46.5 t/ha under a global climate change scenario over the next 150 years. Although forest productivity will decline slightly (from 5.9 to 5.3 t/ha/year), the sequestration in wood products will increase slightly. This is, however, not due to a larger proportion of long-lived wood products from oak and beech forest, but to a change in age-class structure. Under global climate change conditions, carbon stocks in soil, biomass and wood products are predicted to increase. The use of small-sized timber as a fuel, substituting for fossil fuels, can significantly increase the total carbon sequestration in the forest.