Assessing family forest landowners interest in forest carbon programs in the southern United States and predicting carbon content in loblolly pine using Near Infrared Spectroscopy
Type of DegreeMaster's Thesis
Forestry and Wildlife Science
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Over the past few decades, atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels have increased from 300 to 416 ppm. Increased concentrations of atmospheric CO2 affect forests and create an imbalance of carbon exchange between the atmosphere and natural sinks. A significant rise in CO2 levels contributes to increased global temperatures and leads to climate change. Forests play a critical role in mitigating climate change by absorbing the carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere from individuals and industries burning fossil fuels for energy purposes into the terrestrial carbon sink. Strategies like maximizing forest carbon storage in forests and forest products by promoting sustainable forest management practices help reduce CO2 levels. This study focuses on bringing market-based mechanisms to meet the greenhouse gas reduction targets to comply with the Kyoto Protocol and develop an advanced methodology (Near-Infrared Spectroscopy) to estimate carbon content for biomass/timber production. For the proposed study, there are two objectives. First, assess the awareness, attitudes, and willingness of family forest landowners in the southern United States on managing their forestland to increase carbon sequestration and participate in emerging voluntary forest carbon programs. Second, develop a non-destructive method for predicting the carbon content of loblolly pine using Near-Infrared Spectroscopy with an application of chemometrics.