Publication Details

A preliminary investigation of forest carbon changes associated with land-use change in northern New England

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Zheng, Daolan; Heath, Linda S.; Ducey, Mark J.; Smith, James E.

Year Published

2009

Publication

In: McWilliams, Will; Moisen, Gretchen; Czaplewski, Ray, comps. Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) Symposium 2008; October 21-23, 2008; Park City, UT. Proc. RMRS-P-56CD. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 11 p.

Abstract

Maine (ME), New Hampshire (NH), and Vermont (VT) are three of the four most heavily forested states in the United States. In these states, we examined how land-use change, at the Anderson Level I classification, affected regional forest carbon using the 30-m Multi-Resolution Land Characteristics Consortium 1992/2001 Retrofit Land Cover Change product coupled with county-level forest carbon stock densities and changes based on U.S. Forest Service, Forest Inventory and Analysis data during the 9-year period. Results indicate that about 1,100 km2 of forests were newly developed from other land-cover types during 1992 and 2001 across the region, and about 3,100 km2 of forests were converted to other cover types in the same period, resulting in an apparent net loss of 2,000 km2 of forest. Thirty percent of land-cover changes occurred within 1.5 km of major roads. Forest land converted to nonforest land area change resulted in apparent carbon (C) loss of 26 million metric tons (1012 grams – teragrams (Tg)), nonforest land becoming forest land sequestered 1 TgC and forest land remaining forest land sequestered approximately 154 TgC. Consequently, the regional forests functioned as a carbon sink of 129 TgC over the entire 9-year period. All counties functioned as C sinks during the period, ranging from 0.07 Tg in Grand Isle, VT, to 12.5 Tg in Aroostook, ME. Spatially, 8 of the top 10 counties identified as C sinks were in ME and the other two in NH. In terms of forest carbon loss from deforestation alone, 8 of the top 10 counties were located in ME while the other two were in southeastern NH, where relatively high deforestation rates were detected.

Keywords

NLCD land-cover maps; land-use change; afforestation; forest land remaining forest land; change detection

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Citation

Zheng, Daolan; Heath, Linda S.; Ducey, Mark J.; Smith, James E. 2009. A preliminary investigation of forest carbon changes associated with land-use change in northern New England. In: McWilliams, Will; Moisen, Gretchen; Czaplewski, Ray, comps. Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) Symposium 2008; October 21-23, 2008; Park City, UT. Proc. RMRS-P-56CD. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 11 p.

Last updated on: June 15, 2010