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Methods for Managed Forest Systems


Chapter 5: Quantifying Greenhouse Gas Sources and Sinks for Managed Forest Systems

Chapter 5 Image 1

This chapter describes methods for estimating emissions or carbon removal from silvicultural practices and improved forest management, carbon storage and emissions and life cycle assessment (LCA)-quantified substitution impacts from harvested wood products (HWPs), emissions from wildfire and prescribed fire, and greenhouse gas flux from urban forest management.

This chapter offers options, called "Levels," for approaches to generating estimates for each forest management activity. The methodologies and underlying data for each Level confer a particular level of accuracy and data accessibility, as well as cost. Generally, where higher accessibility is achieved, accuracy is sacrificed. Nevertheless, each approach offered is considered scientifically sound and grounded in fully credible data and methodologies. Each of the following sources offer at least one level:

  • Silviculture practices and improved forest management
  • HWPs
  • Wildfire/prescribed fire
  • Urban forest management

There is an accompanying Excel workbook for chapter 5. For forest management activities included in the accompanying Excel workbook, users enter basic information such as the location and land area (acres) of the area in question; the tool will draw appropriate data from built-in data (i.e., “lookup tables”) to produce estimates. This workbook is meant to facilitate the estimation of GHG flux for a broad range of users and is an initial demonstration of often complex calculations across system boundaries (ecosystem to HWP to decay/combustion).

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