Carbon sequestration following afforestation of agricultural soils: comparing oak/beech forest to short-rotation poplar coppice combining a process and a carbon accounting model
Article first published online: 17 SEP 2004
Global Change Biology
Volume 10, Issue 9, pages 1482–1491, September 2004
How to Cite
Deckmyn, G., Muys, B., Garcia Quijano, J. and Ceulemans, R. (2004), Carbon sequestration following afforestation of agricultural soils: comparing oak/beech forest to short-rotation poplar coppice combining a process and a carbon accounting model. Global Change Biology, 10: 1482–1491. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2004.00832.x
- Issue published online: 17 SEP 2004
- Article first published online: 17 SEP 2004
- Received 2 October 2003; revised version received 11 May 2004 and accepted 12 May 2004
- carbon budget;
- growth model;
- soil processes
To compare the benefits for carbon (C) sequestration of afforestation with a multifunctional oak–beech forest vs. a poplar short-rotation coppice (SRC), model simulations were run through a serial linkage of a mechanistic model and an accounting model. The process model SECRETS (Stand to Ecosystem CaRbon and EvapoTranspiration Simulator) was used to predict growth, C allocation and soil C. The output from SECRETS was used as an input for the C accounting model GORCAM (Graz Oak Ridge Carbon Accounting Model) yielding data on C sequestration in wood products, substitution of wood fuel for fossil fuel and total CO2 emission reduction. Such C accounting based on a process model enables a more realistic calculation of forest growth, litter decomposition and soil processes. Moreover, it allows simulating the influence of climate change on the C budget.
Net primary production of an oak–beech forest is low, a stable 2.5 t C ha−1 yr−1 after 150 years, compared to 6.2 t C ha−1 yr−1 for a SRC plantation. But while the yield from the SRC poplar is used as fuel and thus returns quickly to the atmosphere, the yield from the oak-beech forest is used in long-lasting wood products. The total C pool in the mixed forest (living biomass, wood products and soil) after 150 years amounts to 324 t C ha−1 compared to 162 in the poplar coppice. However, when account is taken of the energy substitution, coppice culture reduces emissions with 24.3–29.3 t CO2 ha−1 yr−1 while the mixed forest reduces only 6.2–7.1 t CO2 ha−1 yr−1.
These results demonstrate the added value of combining detailed process models with C-accounting models to improve the predictive capacity of model simulations.