The measurement of plantations of trees in South Australia to improve the estimates of carbon sequestration in low rainfall areas
Australian Greenhouse Office Community Partnership Collection
Hassall and Associates Pty Ltd
Environment Australia, 1999
ISBN 0 6425 4655
This report investigates the measurement of carbon sequestration and compares planting methods for large scale biomass production for carbon sequestration. Thirty two tree planting sites throughout South Australia were examined, and the report provides site descriptions and biomass measurements for these sites.
Very diverse growth rates were observed throughout the regions studied, ranging from less than 0.1 to 13.94 t/ha/yr. This diversity largely reflects the range of site characteristics examined. Around 33% of sites had growth rates of less that 1t/ha/yr and only 12% had growth rates of greater than 10t/ha/yr. Particularly high biomass accumulations (considering rainfall conditions and the non-commercial nature of the plantation) were observed at sites in the Upper South East, Lower South East and Mount Lofty regions.
Comparison of tubestock and direct seeding established sites revealed no consistent trend between plant performance and method of planting. Tubestock established plantings had higher biomasses in only half of the 10 regions studied. In four of the regions studied the measurements were close enough to make it inconclusive whether tubestock plantings did better then direct seeded plantings.
The sites included in this report consisted of a diverse range of sites planted with a large mix of species. The diversity of the species mix made comparisons between different sites and regions difficult, and very few conclusions could be reached regarding the effect of different environmental conditions on biomass accumulation. The results of the study indicate that the estimation of growth rates in low rainfall regions will be extremely hard, and that this may act as a deterrent to investment in carbon sequestration in low rainfall regions.