Ecosystem services of Continuous cover forestsBob Stokes2023-11-09T12:38:46+00:00
An European Investment Bank funded project aimed at assessing improved biodiversity and climate change mitigation impacts of continuous cover forest management in Ireland and the UK. FERS has developed a biodiversity monitoring protocol, which has been validated using ecological surveys of ground vegetation, bird and bat diversity in a series of stands in Baronscourt, Co Tyrone.
FERS is also responsible for developing forest growth and carbon sequestration models characterising the transformation from traditional plantation to permanent irregular high forest management, a form of CCF. The model framework uses the single tree growth model (CARBWARE) and a carbon budget model CBM-CFS3 to develop carbon sequestration scenarios for different forest types under different management scenarios (see example below). The aim of the work is to develop a mechanism to secure ecosystem payments for irregular forest management systems.
In the example provided below, it is estimated that forest under irregular forest management (orange symbols) can potentially sequester and additional ca. 100 tCO2 per ha (equivalent to an average of 1.2tCO2 per ha per year), when compared to successive rotation forests (blue symbols).
Figure above: A comparison of the carbon sequestration potential for Sitka spruce under traditional clearfell-rotation system (3 rotations (blue symbols) versus a management system aimed at transforming the forest to a permanent irregular forest structure (orange symbols). The solid lines represent the maximum CO2 sequestration potential under the 2 management scenarios.
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