PFSI - Carbon Sequestration Rates

The table below gives some indicative figures of carbon sequestered by various vegetation types, in tonnes of CO2 equivalent.  Please note that these are indicative only, the actual rate of sequestration on a particular site will vary greatly due to species, climate, soils and management.

As this information has come from various sources, the carbon pools which have been accounted for vary.  The details in the right hand column give as much information as possible regarding this.  PFSI will require all five carbon pools to be accounted; above ground live biomass, below ground live biomass, mineral soil, soil litter layer and coarse woody debris. Procedures for measuring and accounting for these pools is currently under development by MAF.

Please note that the emission units from PFSI will be based on the increase in the carbon stock during the commitment period, not the total carbon stock at the end of the commitment period.  Commitment period one is from 2008 to 2012.

Land Cover Carbon Sequestration Details
Forest Carbon Stock

525tCO2/ha

This is a general average of above ground carbon for all New Zealand forests from the National Vegetation Survey data

Hall G.M.J (2001) Mitigating and Organisation's future net carbon emissions by native forest restoration.  Ecological Applications (11) 1622-1633

Pasture
Pasture Carbon Stock

11tCO2/ha

Pasture without grazing, including above and below ground live biomass only.

Ford-Robertson, J., Robertson, K. and Maclaren, P. (1999) Modelling the effect of land-use practices on greenhouse gas emissions and sinks in New Zealand, Environmental Science & Policy (2)135-144

Unimproved Pasture Carbon Stock

7tCO2/ha

This is an overall average carbon stock for unimproved pasture in New Zealand.  Live biomass only is included.

Tate, K.R., Giltrap, D.J., Claydon, J.J., Newsome, P.F., Atkinson, A.E., Taylor, M.D. and Lee, R. (1997) Organic Carbon Stocks in New Zealand's Terrestrial Ecosystems.  Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

Exotic
Radiata Pine Carbon Stock

814tCO2/ha

Pinus radiata afforestation on a high productivity site, 800stems per hectare planted, pruning to 6.3m and thinning to waste to 400stems per hectare. Clearfell harvest at 28 years.  Long term carbon stock averaged over three rotations.  Includes live biomass only.

Modelled using STANDPAK.

Ford-Robertson, J., Robertson, K. and Maclaren, P. (1999) Modelling the effect of land-use practices on greenhouse gas emissions and sinks in New Zealand, Environmental Science & Policy (2)135-144

Radiata Pine Carbon Stock

550tCO2/ha

Pinus radiata afforestation on low productivity site, 1200stems per hectare planted, pruning to 6m, thinning to waste to 250 stems per hectare.  Clearfell harvest at 28 years.  Long term carbon stock averaged over three rotations. Includes live biomass only.

Modelled using STANDPAK.

Ford-Robertson, J., Robertson, K. and Maclaren, P. (1999) Modelling the effect of land-use practices on greenhouse gas emissions and sinks in New Zealand, Environmental Science & Policy (2)135-144

Radiata Pine Carbon Stock

918tCO2/ha

28 year old Pinus radiata plantation, planted at 1200stems per hectare, pruned to 6m, waste thinned to 250 stems per hectare, located on the Central North Island Volcanic Plateau.  Includes live biomass both above and below ground and the litter layer.

Modelled using the C_Change model in STANDPAK.

Robertson, K., Loza-Balbuena, I., and Ford Robertson, J.  (2004) Monitoring and Economic Factors affecting the economic viability of afforestation for carbon sequestration projects,

Environmental Science& Policy: (7)465-475

Pine Carbon Stock

411tCO2/ha

This is a general figure for New Zealand pine forests, assuming a 25-30 year rotation in perpetuity.  This includes above ground biomass only.

Maclaren J.P. (1996) Plantation forestry: its role as a carbon sink.  In: Greenhouse: coping with climate change, (eds W.J. Bouma, G.I. Pearman, M.R. Manning, CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood

Planted Forests Mean Annual Increment

18tCO2/ha/yr

This is an overall average carbon sequestration rate for planted forest in New Zealand during a rapid growth phase.

Tate, K.R., Giltrap, D.J., Claydon, J.J., Newsome, P.F., Atkinson, A.E., Taylor, M.D. and Lee, R. (1997) Organic Carbon Stocks in New Zealand's Terrestrial Ecosystems.  Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

Indigenous
Woody Scrub Carbon Stock

128tCO2/ha

This is estimated from standing biomass, and does not include soil carbon.

Tate, K.R., Giltrap, D.J., Claydon, J.J., Newsome, P.F., Atkinson, A.E., Taylor, M.D. and Lee, R. (1997) Organic Carbon Stocks in New Zealand's Terrestrial Ecosystems.  Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

South Island Indigenous Shrubland Carbon Stock

598 tCO2/ha

Natural Indigenous Shrubland (South Island) All carbon pools are included i.e. living biomass above and below ground, CWD, fine litter and mineral soil

Coomes, D.A., Allen, R.B., Scott, N.A., Goulding, C. and Beets, P. (2002) Designing Systems to Monitor Carbon Stocks in Forests and Shrublands, Forest Ecology and Management (164)89-108

Land Reverting to Manuka/Kanuka Scrub

Where y is the carbon in tC/ha and χ is the year (i.e. 4 for the fourth year since abandonment) (from age 3).

Note: to convert tonnes of Carbon to tonnes of CO2, multiply by 3.67

Above ground live biomass of abandoned farmland in the east cape region, reverting to manuka/kanuka scrub

Ford-Robertson, J., Robertson, K. and Maclaren, P. (1999) Modelling the effect of land-use practices on greenhouse gas emissions and sinks in New Zealand, Environmental Science & Policy (2)135-144

Manuka/Kanuka Shrubland Carbon Stock

238tCO2/ha

25 year old, manuka dominated stand.

Scott, N.A., White, J.D., Townsend, J.A., Whitehead, D., Leathwick, J.R., Hall, G.M.J., Marden, M., Rogers, G.N.D., Watson, A.J., and Whaley, P.T.(2000) Carbon and nitrogen distribution and accumulation in a New Zealand Scrubland Ecosystem, Canadian Journal of Forest Research, (30) 1246-1522

Manuka/Kanuka Shrubland Carbon Stocks

554tCO2/ha

35 and 55 year old stands of mixed Kanuka and Manuka

Scott, N.A., White, J.D., Townsend, J.A., Whitehead, D., Leathwick, J.R., Hall, G.M.J., Marden, M., Rogers, G.N.D., Watson, A.J., and Whaley, P.T.(2000) Carbon and nitrogen distribution and accumulation in a New Zealand Scrubland Ecosystem, Canadian Journal of Forest Research, (30) 1246-1522

Manuka/Kanuka Scrubland Mean Annual Increment

7.0-9.2tCO2/ha/yr

General New Zealand mean net increment for Manuka/Kanuka scrubland during an active growth phase averaged over 40 years and taking into account changes in all carbon pools.

Trotter, C., Tate, K., Scott, N., Townsend, J., Wilde, H., Lambie, S., Marden, M. and Pinkney, T. (2005) Afforestation/reforestation of New Zealand marginal pasture lands by indigenous shrublands: the potential for kyoto forest sinks. Annal of Forestry Science (62):865-871

Manuka/Kanuka Shrubland An internet based "Carbon Calculator", estimating carbon storage for manuka/kanuka Kyoto afforestation schemes on hill country in the Gisborne region, is available from the internet site below.

http://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/research/globalchange/carbon_calc/carboncalc.aspx

Kauri Plantation Mean Annual Increment

16tCO2/ha/yr

69 year old Stand in Taranaki Region between 24 and 46cm diameter at breast height.  Includes live biomass, both above and below ground.

Unpublished data

South Island Indigenous Forest Carbon Stock

1065tCO2/ha

Natural Indigenous Forest in the South Island.  All carbon pools are included i.e. living biomass above and below ground, CWD, fine litter and mineral soil

Coomes, D.A., Allen, R.B., Scott, N.A., Goulding, C. and Beets, P. (2002) Designing Systems to Monitor Carbon Stocks in Forests and Shrublands, Forest Ecology and Management (164)89-108

Lowland Podocarp- Broadleaved Forest Carbon Stock

1238tCO2/ha

This is estimated from standing biomass, and does not include soil carbon.

Tate, K.R., Giltrap, D.J., Claydon, J.J., Newsome, P.F., Atkinson, A.E., Taylor, M.D. and Lee, R. (1997) Organic Carbon Stocks in New Zealand's Terrestrial Ecosystems.  Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

Mature beech-podocarp forest Carbon Stock

1290tCO2/ha

This is estimated from standing biomass, and does not include soil carbon.

Tate, K.R., Giltrap, D.J., Claydon, J.J., Newsome, P.F., Atkinson, A.E., Taylor, M.D. and Lee, R. (1997) Organic Carbon Stocks in New Zealand's Terrestrial Ecosystems.  Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

Hard Beech Forest Carbon Stock

1172tCO2/ha

This is estimated from standing biomass, and does not include soil carbon.

Tate, K.R., Giltrap, D.J., Claydon, J.J., Newsome, P.F., Atkinson, A.E., Taylor, M.D. and Lee, R. (1997) Organic Carbon Stocks in New Zealand's Terrestrial Ecosystems.  Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

Mountain Beech Forest Carbon Stock

938tCO2/ha

This is estimated from standing biomass, and does not include soil carbon.

Tate, K.R., Giltrap, D.J., Claydon, J.J., Newsome, P.F., Atkinson, A.E., Taylor, M.D. and Lee, R. (1997) Organic Carbon Stocks in New Zealand's Terrestrial Ecosystems.  Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

Craig Trotter (Landcare Research New Zealand) has looked at afforestation/reforestation of New Zealand marginal pasture lands by indigenous manuka/kanuka shrublands. Part of this work included an initial analysis of the economics of creating Kyoto-eligible forest sinks. His analysis may be useful for those considering the PFSI. An abstract of the paper and Craig Trotter's contact details are available from http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/forest:2005077

Notes

  1. To convert tonnes of Carbon to tonnes of CO2, multiply by 3.67
  2. To estimate C stock from dry biomass, multiply by 0.5
  3. To estimate CO2 from dry biomass, multiply by 1.835
  4. Carbon is measured in mega grams in some literature. 1Mg is equal to1 000 000g, or 1 tonne.

The Value of Emission Units

The international price for emission units during the first commitment period is difficult to forecast due to market immaturity and potential price volatility. As with any market, whether it is a market for commodities or a stock market, there are uncertainties over future price levels. Uncertainties surrounding the carbon market are probably greater given the lack of market history. There are a number of sources of information which are being used as an indication of the value of Kyoto emission units.

European Union Emissions Trading Scheme

European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) is a carbon dioxide emissions trading scheme set up within the European Union to assist reducing emissions to pre 1990 levels by 2012.

Although the EU ETS is a significant building block in establishing an international market, there are several important considerations if one is looking to this market for an indication of the value of Kyoto compliant emission units.

  1. EU ETS is largely limited to Europe, excluding major international players such as Japan, Canada and Russia
  2. The market's focus is on industrial emitters
  3. EU ETS is currently trading in the current 2005-2007 period, and not in the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol (2008-2012). (The PFSI will operate during the first commitment period and potentially longer)
  4. As current EU ETS rules stand, PFSI owners will not be able to sell on this market. However, European governments and other buyers may be interested.
  5. The design and regulations governing EU ETS restrict the access to external emission units.

Other considerations

Those seeking to buy large quantities of carbon credits may prefer to purchase units in single transactions from large sellers, rather than negotiate multiple smaller transactions. It is possible that brokers may see opportunities to act as intermediaries and purchase units off multiple sellers and then resell them in larger parcels. However, this is simply speculation.

This publication is not produced for the purpose of giving professional advice of any nature. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the information in this document is accurate the Crown, its employees and consultants do not accept any responsibility or liability whatsoever for any error of fact, omission or opinion which may be present, however it may have occurred, nor for the consequences of any decision based on the information in this publication. Without in any way limiting the above statement, the Crown, its employees and consultants expressly disclaim all and any liability to any person in respect of anything, and the consequences of anything done or omitted to be done in reliance, whether wholly or partly, upon the whole or any part of the contents of this publication.

 

Last Updated: 28 January 2013

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