Helsingin yliopisto


Helsingin yliopiston verkkojulkaisut

University of Helsinki, Helsinki 2006

Forest inventory-based large-scale forest biomass and carbon budget assessment: new enhanced methods and use of remote sensing for verification

Petteri Muukkonen

Doctoral dissertation, November 2006.
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Science, Department of Geography and Finnish Forest Research Institute.

In recent years, concern has arisen over the effects of increasing carbon dioxide (CO2) in the earth's atmosphere due to the burning of fossil fuels. One way to mitigate increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration and climate change is carbon sequestration to forest vegeta-tion through photosynthesis. Comparable regional scale estimates for the carbon balance of forests are therefore needed for scientific and political purposes.

The aim of the present dissertation was to improve methods for quantifying and verifying inventory-based carbon pool estimates of the boreal forests in the mineral soils. Ongoing forest inventories provide a data based on statistically sounded sampling for estimating the level of carbon stocks and stock changes, but improved modelling tools and comparison of methods are still needed. In this dissertation, the entire inventory-based large-scale forest carbon stock assessment method was presented together with some separate methods for enhancing and comparing it. The enhancement methods presented here include ways to quantify the biomass of understorey vegetation as well as to estimate the litter production of needles and branches. In addition, the optical remote sensing method illustrated in this dis-sertation can be used to compare with independent data.

The forest inventory-based large-scale carbon stock assessment method demonstrated here provided reliable carbon estimates when compared with independent data. Future ac-tivity to improve the accuracy of this method could consist of reducing the uncertainties regarding belowground biomass and litter production as well as the soil compartment.

The methods developed will serve the needs for UNFCCC reporting and the reporting under the Kyoto Protocol. This method is principally intended for analysts or planners interested in quantifying carbon over extensive forest areas.

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Last updated 28.09.2006

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