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Carbon sequestration and growth of six common tree and shrub shelterbelts in Saskatchewan, Canada1

Amichev, Beyhan Y., Bentham, Murray J., Kulshreshtha, Suren N., Laroque, Colin P., Piwowar, Joseph M., Van Rees, Ken C.J.
Canadian journal of soil science 2016 v.97 no.3 pp. 368-381
Caragana, Fraxinus pennsylvanica, Picea glauca, Pinus sylvestris, agricultural land, biomass, carbon, carbon sequestration, carbon sinks, climate, climate change, ecosystems, equations, greenhouse gases, hybrids, models, shelterbelts, shrubs, soil, trees, Manitoba, Saskatchewan
Shelterbelts sequester and store atmospheric carbon as a direct result of the growth of trees and thus present an opportunity for climate change mitigation. The objectives of this paper were to quantify the growth characteristics and to estimate the carbon stocks of six common shelterbelt species in Saskatchewan: hybrid poplar, Manitoba maple, Scots pine, white spruce, green ash, and caragana. Growth curves (3PG) and carbon dynamics (CBM-CFS3) modelling approaches were used to simulate shelterbelt growth and to estimate the carbon stocks in 50 439 km shelterbelts containing the six species. Shelterbelt width ranged from 6.3 to 14.0 m, age ranged from 5 to 100 yr, and tree density ranged from 356 to 791 trees ha⁻¹. The r² of the growth curve equations ranged from 28% to 97%, with <50% root-mean-square error and <30% bias. The total ecosystem carbon stocks of all shelterbelts of the six species in Saskatchewan were 10.8 Tg C (1 Tg C = 1 million Mg C), of which 3.77 Tg C was sequestered in the soil and shelterbelt biomass since 1990. The climate mitigation potential of the six shelterbelt species, ranging from 1.78 to 6.54 Mg C km⁻¹ yr⁻¹, emphasized the important role that trees can have on the agricultural landscape to mitigate greenhouse gases (GHGs). Planting shelterbelt trees and shrubs on agricultural landscapes is an important strategy for mitigating GHGs.