Methods for calculating forest ecosystem and harvested carbon with standard estimates for forest types of the United States

By James E. Smith, Linda S. Heath, Kenneth E. Skog and Richard A. Birdsey
Newton Square, PA (April 1, 2006)- This study presents techniques for calculating average net annual additions to carbon in forests and in forest products. Forest ecosystem carbon yield tables, representing stand-level merchantable volume and carbon pools as a function of stand age, were developed for 51 forest types within 10 regions of the United States.


Separate tables were developed for afforestation and reforestation. Because carbon continues to be sequestered in harvested wood, approaches to calculate carbon sequestered in harvested forest products are included.
Although these calculations are simple and inexpensive to use, the uncertainty of results obtained by using representative average values may be high relative to other techniques that use site- or project-specific data. The estimates and methods in this report are consistent with guidelines being updated for the U.S. Voluntary Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Program and with guidelines developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
This publication, often known by its report name GTR NE-343, contains figures on the carbon statistics for multiple species of trees in the different regions of the United States. Nonprofit organizations like Cascade Land Conservancy in Seattle have used this publication to develop their carbon mitigation urban forestry programs.
Related Resources:
Methods for calculating forest ecosystem and harvested carbon with standard estimates for forest types of the United States
Northern Research Station Publication Information for GTR NE-343
Tapping Carbon Markets for Urban Forests