Navigation Links
Wood not so green a biofuel
Date:6/11/2013

Using wood for energy is considered cleaner than fossil fuels, but a Dartmouth College-led study finds that logging may release large amounts of carbon stored in deep forest soils. The results appear in the journal Global Change Biology-Bioenergy: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/gcbb.12044/abstract

Global atmospheric studies often don't consider carbon in deep (or mineral) soil because it is thought to be stable and unaffected by timber harvesting. But the Dartmouth findings show deep soil can play an important role in carbon emissions in clear-cutting and other intensive forest management practices. The findings suggest that calls for an increased reliance on forest biomass be re-evaluated and that forest carbon analyses are incomplete unless they include deep soil, which stores more than 50 percent of the carbon in forest soils.

"Our paper suggests the carbon in the mineral soil may change more rapidly, and result in increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide, as a result of disturbances such as logging," said Dartmouth Professor Andrew Friedland, a co-author. "Our paper suggests that increased reliance on wood may have the unintended effect of increasing the transfer of carbon from the mineral soil to the atmosphere. So the intended goal of reducing carbon in the atmosphere may not be met."

The federal government is looking to wood, wind, solar, hydropower and other renewable energy sources to address concerns about climate change and energy security. Woody biomass, which includes trees grown on plantations, managed natural forests and logging waste, makes up about 75 percent of global biofuel production. Mineral soil carbon responses can vary highly depending on harvesting intensity, surface disturbance and soil type.

"Analysis of forest carbon cycles is central to understanding and mitigating climate change, and understanding forest carbon cycles requires an in-depth analysis of the storage in and fluxes among different forest carbon pools, which include aboveground live and dead biomass, as well as the belowground organic soil horizon, mineral soil horizon and roots," Friedland said.

Co-authors included Dartmouth's Thomas Buchholz, a former post-doctoral student, and Claire Hornig, a recent undergraduate student, and researchers from the University of Vermont, Lund University in Sweden and the Vermont Department of Forest, Parks and Recreation. The research was supported by awards to Friedland from the Northeastern States Research Cooperative and the Porter Fund.

Friedland's research focuses on understanding the effects of atmospheric deposition of pollutants and biomass harvesting on elemental cycling processes in high-elevation forests in the Northeastern United States. He considers many elements including carbon, trace elements such as lead and major elements such as nitrogen and calcium. He also is examining issues related to personal choices, energy use and environmental impact.


'/>"/>

Contact: John Cramer
john.d.cramer@dartmouth.edu
603-646-9130
Dartmouth College
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Research on geological storage of CO2 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
2. Living biofilters could reduce greenhouse gas emissions
3. Elevated carbon dioxide making arid regions greener
4. Recovery of Hawaiian green sea turtles still short of historic levels, Stanford-led study suggests
5. Going green: Nation equipped to grow serious amounts of pond scum for fuel
6. Cameroon researcher wins prestigious Green Oscar
7. Zeal to ensure clean leafy greens takes bite out of riverside habitat in California
8. More food and greener farming with specialised transporters for plants
9. Will green tea help you lose weight?
10. Green spaces may boost well-being for city slickers
11. Surprising findings on hydrogen production in green algae
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:11/16/2016)... Sensory Inc ., a Silicon ... consumer electronics, and VeriTran , a technology ... today announced a global partnership that will provide ... users of mobile banking and mobile payments solutions.  ... which requires no specialized biometric scanners, yet provides ...
(Date:11/15/2016)... , Nov 15, 2016 Research and ... Global Forecast to 2021" report to their offering. ... ... USD 16.18 Billion by 2021 from USD 6.21 Billion in 2016, ... Growth of the bioinformatics market is driven by the ...
(Date:11/14/2016)... , Nov. 14, 2016  Based ... identification market, Frost & Sullivan recognizes FST ... Sullivan Award for Visionary Innovation Leadership. FST ... the biometric identification market by pioneering In ... solution for instant, seamless, and non-invasive verification. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... 08, 2016 , ... This CAST literature review and report looks at problems ... on the economic effects in countries that are major global commodity exporters and importers, ... resultant risk of low level presence (LLP) puts large volumes of trade worth billions ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... TAMPA, Fla. , Dec. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and plans to ... today that its shares of common stock were approved ... stock will begin trading on the OTCQX, effective ... To qualify for the OTCQX market, companies must ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... , Dec. 8, 2016  Partnering to fuel ... Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania ... the parent company of Independence Blue Cross; and Safeguard ... their intentions for a $6 million funding initiative over ... startups. Responding to a burgeoning economic vitality ...
(Date:12/7/2016)... ... December 07, 2016 , ... A new study ... setting of previously treated, advanced pancreatic cancer, liquid biopsies are not yet an ... and timing of blood sampling may improve the value of a blood-based test.” ...
Breaking Biology Technology: