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Life cycle inventories of roundwood production in northern Wisconsin: Inputs into an industrial forest carbon budget

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Ahl, Douglas E.; Gower, Stith T.; White, Molly K.
White M.K., S.T. Gower and D.E. Ahl. 2005. Life-cycle inventories of roundwood production in Wisconsin ? Inputs into an industrial forest carbon budget. For. Ecol. Manage. 219: 13-2
Oriented strand board; Dimensional lumber; Wisconsin forests; Carbon budget; Life cycle inventory
Forest Ecology and Management;219
Carbon budgets are developed to understand ecosystem dynamics and are increasingly being used to develop global change policy. Traditionally, forest carbon budgets have focused on the biological carbon cycle; however, it is important to include the industrial forest carbon cycle as well. The overall objective of this study was to quantify the major carbon ?uxes associated with the production of Wisconsin's industrial roundwood, by using life cycle inventory (LCI) methodology to produce an industrial forest carbon budget. To achieve this objective we (1) developed carbon LCIs for the harvest process for three major forest ownerships (state, national, and private non-industrial), (2) developed carbon LCIs for a dimensional lumber and two oriented strand board (OSB) mills and (3) completed a scaled version of 1 and 2 to include more Wisconsin forestlands and to incorporate the other major processes within the industrial forest carbon cycle (e.g. primary mill, secondary mill, product use and product disposal processes of the industrial forest carbon cycle). The carbon budgets for the harvesting process of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest (CNNF), the Northern Highland American Legion State Forest (NHAL), and the non-industrial private forests that participated in the managed forest laws of Wisconsin (MFL-NIPF) were 0.10, 0.18 and 0.11 tonnes C ha<sup>-1</sup> year<sup>-1</sup>), respectively. The dimensional lumber and OSB products were both net carbon sources, and released 0.05?0.09 tonnes C/ tonnes C processed). More carbon is sequestered than released within the industrial forest carbon cycle of Wisconsin?s national (6 g C m<sup>-2</sup> year<sup>-1</sup>), state (12 g C m<sup>-2</sup> year<sup>-1</sup>) and non-industrial private forests (7 g C m<sup>-2</sup> year<sup>-1</sup>). Using published net ecosystem production data we estimate that the net forest carbon cycle budget (sum of the biological and industrial C cycle, [Gower, S.T., 2003. Patterns and mechanisms of the forest carbon cycle. Ann. Rev. Environ. Resour. 28, 169?204]) for the CNNF ranges between -897 and 348 g C m<sup>-2</sup>year<sup>-1</sup>. Life cycle inventories of wood and paper products should be clear and explicitly state what processes are included, so that results can be used by policy makers and future researchers.
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