Forest Stand Dynamics and the Carbon Cycle


Huei-An Chu: F&ES Master's Thesis

Advisor: Xuhui Lee


The role of forests in the carbon cycle is still a key uncertainty for the regulation of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. Concerns range from how much atmospheric carbon dioxide could be uptaken by forests, to how land cover types affect carbon uptake.

This study builds relations between stand structure/species combination and carbon uptake. The objectives of this study are to:

  1. Use satellite observations to determine land-types at several sites where forest carbon-uptake monitoring is taking place
  2. Reconstruct land cover/succession over the satellite age, and relate this to carbon sink strength
The study areas are at a maple-aspen forest a Camp Borden in Southern Ontario, Canada, and a maple-hemlock forest in Connecticut. The atmospheric carbon dioxide flux data has been collected by using the tower-based eddy covariance (EC) technique over the past 3 years. Detailed landcover classifications of these two areas will be created with images including DEM, TM, SPOT, and radar images. A Geographic Information System (GIS will overlay classification data on carbon uptake data to understand how the carbon cycle is controlled by species compositions.

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17 September 1999