Using the data from the KSU study found in the table above, and the equation
log10M = -1.25 + 2.66 log10D
you can estimate the amount of aboveground biomass in a 10m x 10m plot (100 m2) of forested land. Given that 1 acre = 4047 m2, these same calculations can be expanded to estimate the amount of aboveground biomass in an acre of forest. The table below shows the biomass for various sized trees within each site, using the above equation. Use this information to fill in the rest of the activity sheet.
Site #1 Site #2 Site #3
Tree Diameter (cm) Biomass (kg) Tree Diameter (cm) Biomass (kg) Tree Diameter (cm) Biomass (kg)
Pine 22 209.34 Pine 11 33.12 Pine 36 775.83
Pine 16 89.73 Pine 35 719.82 Pine 21 184.97
Pine 29 436.49 Pine 39 959.91 Pine 23 235.61
Pine 24 263.85 Pine 7 9.95 Pine 31 521.22
Pine 32 567.15 Pine 9 19.42 Pine 25 294.12
Pine 12 41.75 Sweet Gum 8 14.20 Pine 12 41.75
Pine 43 1244.59 Sweet Gum 17 105.44 Pine 22 209.34
Pine 28 397.59 Sweet Gum 5 4.07 Pine 25 294.12
Pine 39 959.91 Sweet Gum 12 41.75 Pine 17 105.44
Sweet Gum 7 9.95 Dogwood 7 9.95 Sweet Gum 15 75.58
Sweet Gum 3 1.05 Dogwood 5 4.07 Sweet Gum 11 33.12
Sweet Gum 21 184.97 Dogwood 11 33.12 Sweet Gum 9 19.42
Dogwood 3 1.05 Dogwood 7 9.95 Sweet Gum 38 895.83
Dogwood 8 14.20 Hickory 11 33.12 Dogwood 17 105.44
Birch 7 9.95 Hickory 6 6.61 Hickory 12 41.75
Birch 4 2.25 Hickory 8 14.20 Hickory 5 4.07
Birch 3 1.05 Birch 2 0.36
Maple 4 2.25 Birch 2 0.36
Birch 2 0.36
Total 2021.9 Total 3838.65
(a.) Calculate the average biomass per 100 m2 (10m x 10m plot) for the three plots. Thus average biomass per 100 m2 = _3431.45 kg/100 m2
(Hint: add the total biomass for each of the 3 plots and then divide by 3)
(b.) For this question, convert biomass per m2 to biomass per acre. Since 1 acre = 4047 m2, multiply the mean biomass per 100 m2 by 40.47. Thus average biomass per acre = ____________ kg/acre
(c.) To calculate the amount of carbon stored in the plant tissues, multiply the average biomass per acre by 0.45, since studies have shown that about 45% of the biomass of a tree is carbon.
Amount of carbon stored in plant tissues = ____________ kg Carbon / acre
(d.) While carbon per acre is a useful measurement, most studies quantify carbon flux as carbon dioxide, not carbon. To determine the amount of CO2 that the trees removed from the atmosphere, multiply the kg carbon per acre value by 3.67. This value is the mass conversion factor for carbon to carbon dioxide.
CO2 removed from the atmosphere = ____________ kg CO2/acre of carbon cycling
This is an important value, as it shows how much carbon dioxide is sequestered in an acre of forest, and how much would be released to the atmosphere if the trees from an acre were cut and then burned or allowed to decay (mulched). We will return to this value later in the module when you determine your personal CO2 emissions from energy usage, and see how many acres of forest would be needed to “store” your carbon dioxide.
(a.) Let’s now calculate the amount of CO2 that could be stored on the land occupied by your residence, if it were forested. Choose either the single-family home or apartment sections below. If neither of these categories exactly describes your residence, choose the one that is most appropriate. You will need the conversion factors for square feet and square miles to acres, so they are listed below.
1 mile2 = 640 acres 1 acre = 43, 560 ft2
Measure the area of your home’s lot that is not covered by large trees. If you are unsure of the size of your lot in acres, measure its length and width in feet, calculate the square footage, and convert to acres using the factor above.
Do the same for your entire subdivision. If you don’t know its total acreage, reset the odometer on your car and measure the length and width of the subdivision in miles using tenths of miles from the odometer. Multiply these values together to get the square miles, and then convert to acres using the factor above. Subdivisions are rarely square or rectangular, so you may have to make some estimations and judgment calls in this process.
Measure your apartment building’s length and width in feet, calculate the square footage, and convert to acres using the factor above. Then divide this value by the number of apartments in the building to determine the each apartment’s “share” of the area.
Do the same for the entire apartment complex. If you don’t know its total acreage, measure it in miles (as described in section (a.) above) or feet, whichever is most appropriate. Calculate the complex’s area in square miles or feet, and then convert to acres.
Using the “Carbon dioxide stored/released per acre” value from your calculations of the KSU sites, calculate the amount of CO2 that would have been removed from the atmosphere and stored in plant tissues if your lot/apartment and subdivision/apartment complex were forested land. List your answers below.
Single-family home Apartment
Lot Subdivision Apartment Complex
CO2 stored/released (kg/acre)
(b.) It is estimated that the greater Atlanta area (where KSU is located) loses 50 acres of trees per day to development. If we assume that the cut trees are burned or mulched, how much CO2 will this release into the atmosphere in a year?
CO2 released per year = ________________ kg CO2
Does this information cause you to consider buying a smaller lot for your next home? Does it change the way you would landscape your current or future home?
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