Part 5—Explore Carbon in Your Own State's Forests

Step 1 Repeat Part 3, Step 4 for Your Own State or Region

  1. Launch Excel and open a new copy of Carbon_Scenario_Template.xls.
  2. Select the Template(US-East_Central) tab or the Template(US-RockyMtn_Pacific) tab depending on where your home state is located.
  3. Open the FIA_State_Carbon.xls file.
  4. Next, find the data for your own state tab in the FIA_State_Carbon.xls and copy the data for 1997 from Tables 2, 3, and 4 as explained in Part 3, Step 4. Fill in (paste) copied data into the left-hand (blue) columns of the Carbon_Scenario_template.xls for the forests in your state.
  5. In the Carbon_Scenario_template.xls, go to File > Save As and rename the file to YourState_Carbon_Scenario_Template.xls. You can now close the original Carbon_Scenario_Template.xls and work with YourState_Carbon_Scenario_Template.xls.

Step 2 Add Model Runs to the Carbon Scenario Template for Your State's Data

  1. Launch the isee Player and open Biomass_Accumulation2.7.STM.
  2. Change the foliar nitrogen values for each forest type in your state and run the model in the same manner as in Part 4 for the New Hampshire data.
  3. Read from the graph or table the values for the years requested (50, 80, 100, 150, 250) and record this data in the green columns of YourState_Carbon_Scenario_Template.xls.

Step 3 Analyze the Results of the Model Runs and Compare to FIA Data Reported

  1. How old do you think your local forests really are?
  2. When does equilibrium occur in your modeled forest?
  3. How much more carbon can be stored in your forest?
  4. What is the Forest's role in the Carbon cycle and climate change?
  • Look up the area in acres of your state on the internet. Use FIA_State_Carbon.xls to find the amount of forested area in your state. Determine what percent of your state that is covered by forest.
  • Re-run one forest type (one foliar nitrogen value) and look at the slope (steepness) in biomass line on the graph over time. Notice the carbon uptake in young forests increases much faster over a period of say 10 yrs than in an older forests.
  • If you were a forest manager for your state, here are activities or balances might you have to consider:
    • If you increase forested land, you may be decreasing agriculture, or land for housing. You also have to consider water availability.
    • If partial harvests occur in cycles for middle-aged trees and re-planting occurs, you would increase the amount of carbon dioxide removed from the atmosphere.
    • You would have to consider effects on the forest (soil, habitats, water) to make a decision about where to remove trees.
    • The tree's carbon storage may go to furniture or lumber and not be released as carbon dioxide, but no longer taking up carbon as only living trees photosynthesize.
    • Burning trees to clear agricultural land or harvesting for fuels for heat or cooking or for building without regard to replanting is not a carbon storage friendly way to manage forests.

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