Carbon Budget Model of the Canadian Forest Sector

Canadian Forest Service

ESSA developed a simulation model of the Canadian forest sector carbon budget to analyze the quantitative effects of forest management and forest sector policy decisions on carbon exchange between the forest sector and the atmosphere. Initial work consisted of calculating the net balance of the national forest carbon budget using the best available data from existing provincial and national databases. This work laid the foundation for subsequent expansion of the analytical framework and analysis of the effects of changing climatic conditions and different policy options on the net carbon balance. As work progressed, emphasis was placed on the role of policy decisions (e.g., tree planting, large scale fertilization, bioenergy use, forest product recycling) on the carbon budget. The model simulates stand-level carbon dynamics in above- and below-ground biomass and in four dead organic matter pools that represent all organic matter including litter, coarse woody debris and humified soil organic carbon. The model accounts for the impacts of forest management, natural disturbances and deforestation. At the landscape-level, the model summarizes the carbon stock changes and generates information in compliance with the accounting rules of the Kyoto Protocol (to the extent that these were finalized at the time of project implementation).

Using the model, ESSA conducted an analysis of the interactions between climate change and policy decisions to identify: 1) the potential feedback mechanisms between increasing carbon in the global atmosphere and vegetation responses; and 2) the options for mitigative and adaptive strategies. A retrospective analysis was also conducted with the model for the period 1920-1989, integrating data on forest inventory and climatic conditions for all of Canada into the analysis.

CBM Reports and Publications

Apps, M.J., W.A. Kurz, S.J. Beukema and J.S. Bhatti. 1999. Carbon budget of the Canadian forest product sector. In: Environmental Science & Policy 2 (1999) pp. 25-41.

Kurz, W.A. and M.J. Apps. 1999. A 70-year retrospective analysis of carbon fluxes in the Canadian Forest Sector. In: Ecological Applications 9(2) (1999). pp. 526-547.

Kurz, W.A., S.J. Beukema, and M.J. Apps. 1998. Carbon budget implications of the transition from natural to managed disturbance regimes in forest ecosystems. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change 2: 405-421.

Price, D.T., M.J Apps, and W.A. Kurz. 1998. Past and future carbon dynamics of Canada’s forestry sector. In: G.H. Kohlmaier, M. Weber and R.A. Houghton (eds.) Carbon Dioxide Mitigation in Forestry and Wood Industry. Springer-Verlag. pp. 63-88.

Greenough, J.A., M.J. Apps, and W.A. Kurz. 1997. Influence of methodology and assumptions on reported national carbon flux inventories: An Illustration from the Canadian Forest Sector. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change. 2: 267-283.

Price, D.T., D.H. Halliwell, M.J. Apps, W.A. Kurz, and S.R. Curry. 1997. Comprehensive assessment of carbon stocks and fluxes in a Boreal-Cordilleran forest management unit. Can. J. For. Res. 27: 2005-2016
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Kurz, W.A. and M.J. Apps. 1996. Retrospective assessment of carbon flows in Canadian boreal forests. In: M.J. Apps and D.T. Price (eds). Forest Ecosystems, Forest Management and the Global Carbon Cycle, NATO ASI Series 1: Global Environmental Change. Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg, Vol. 40, pp. 173-182.

Kurz, W.A., M.J. Apps, P.G. Comeau, and J.A. Trofymow. 1996. The Carbon Budget of British Columbia’s Forests, 1920-1989: Preliminary Analysis and Recommendations for Refinements. Canada-British Columbia Partnership Agreement on Forest Resource Development: FRDA II. Joint publication of Canadian Forest Service, Pacific Forestry Centre and B.C. Ministry of Forests, Research Branch, Victoria, BC. FRDA Rept. 261. 62 pp.

Kurz, W.A., S.J. Beukema, and M.J. Apps. 1996. Estimation of Root Biomass and Dynamics for the Carbon Budget Model of the Canadian Forest Sector. Can. J. For. Res. 26: 1973-1979.

Price, D.T., R.M. Mair, W.A. Kurz and M.J. Apps. 1996. Effects of forest management, harvesting and wood processing on ecosystem carbon dynamics: a boreal case study. In: M.J. Apps and D.T. Price (eds). “Forest Ecosystems, Forest Management and the Global Carbon Cycle”, NATO ASI Series 1: Global Environmental Change, Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg, Vol. 40, pp. 279-292.