Graduate Project

 

Slash-pile biomass estimations and Carbon Cycling in the Coastal Temperate Rainforest of the Pacific Northwest Public Deposited

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  • Logging residue (slash) consists primarily of the branches and treetops of harvested merchantable timber; excluding snags, downed logs, and stumps. Residues may be scattered about the harvest unit, concentrated in slash-piles (SP), or both depending on the harvest method and equipment used. Accurate estimates of residue biomass are useful to managers who allocate resources for smoke abatement, fire-risk reduction, and regeneration efforts, and to landowners who bear the financial burden of such activities (Cross, et al., 2013). Changes in national and state energy policies have created opportunities for offsite utilization of residues provided sufficient quantities are deliverable at competitive prices. The analysis of direct field measurements seeks to update the estimators of wood in piled logging residue (Little, 1982) and biomass supply studies based on those estimators (Hardy, 1996; Howard, 1978, 1981; Kerstetter and Lyons, 2001). The purposes of this project are to: (1) Quantify the biomass from logging residue through standard field sampling methods on timber conservation land; (2) Use remote sensing instruments to derive data and calculate slash-pile volume with an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), camera, apps, laptop, software, etc. referred to as the Unmanned Aerial System (UAS); (3) Compare the two methods of field sampling and UAS volume per slash-pile and determine variability between results; (4) Determine decay class from field sampling data of moisture, temperature, and slash composition, with estimations for future decomposition rates; and (5) Estimate the slash-pile “carbon cycling schedule”, carbon credit potential, and possible agroforestry technique.
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