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    Author(s): Harold S.J. Zald; Thomas A. Spies; Mark E. Harmon; Mark J. Twery
    Date: 2016
    Source: Journal of Forestry
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (311.0 KB)


    Forests play a critical role sequestering atmospheric carbon dioxide, partially offsetting greenhouse gas emissions, and thereby mitigating climate change. Forest management, natural disturbances, and the fate of carbon in wood products strongly influence carbon sequestration and emissions in the forest sector. Government policies, carbon offset and trading programs, and sustainable forestry certification programs make it increasingly important that carbon dynamics are incorporated into forest management decisionmaking. Many analytical tools (which we refer to as forest carbon calculators) have been developed to quantify carbon stores and dynamics in the forest sector, but it can be difficult for potential users to know which carbon calculator(s) may be best for any given application. We review 12 forest carbon calculators, providing a classification and synthesis to assist forest managers, policymakers, and educators. Additionally, we discuss key characteristics missing in existing forest carbon calculators that are needed for current and future forest management decisionmaking.

    Publication Notes

    • Visit PNW's Publication Request Page to request a hard copy of this publication.
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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Zald, Harold S.J.; Spies, Thomas A.; Harmon, Mark E.; Twery, Mark J. 2016. Forest carbon calculators: a review for managers, policymakers, and educators. Journal of Forestry. 114(2): 134-143.


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    forest carbon calculators, carbon sequestration, management, disturbance

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