Carbon dynamics in chronosequence of boreal forest ecosystems: a production ecological approach
Principal Investigator: Osawa, Akira (27)
Licence Number: 13805
Organization: Ryukoku University, Faculty of Intercultural Communication
Licenced Year(s): 2017 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001
Issued: May 12, 2005
Project Team: Nahoko KURACHI (Litter collection and analysis, Hirakoa Forest Institute), Tomiyasu MIYAURA (Tree root analysis, Ryukoku University), Tomoko MIYAURA (Field asistant, N/A), Hatena OSAWA (Field assistant, N/A), Akira OSAWA (Soil respiration study/PI, Ryukoku University)

Project Description: Northern forests are closely connected to the issue of global warming because they are likely to absorb much of the carbon dioxide that is emitted into the air by humans. The amount that these forests absorb, however, is not clear. The main objectives of the 2005 field season are to collect data on the annual growth of fine roots, and to further examine the rate of soil respiration. Both of these parameters are likely to affect the quantity of the carbon budget. In particular, if the soil respiration rate declines substantially in dry summers, it would affect the annual carbon balance dramatically. Learning more about soil respiration will help the researchers to understand whether the jack pine forests in Wood Buffalo National Park are accumulating carbon from the atmosphere, or losing carbon to the atmosphere.

Five methods will be used: 1) soil and air temperatures and soil moisture will be measured with data loggers, 2) aboveground forest litter will be collected with litter traps, 3) soil respiration rate will be measured with a portable infrared gas analyzer, 4) several trees will be cut, and weights of their organs will be measured, and 5) annual growth of fine roots will be estimated with the thin soil columns placed in the study plots in 2004. Most of the researchers' field activities will take place between late July and mid-August of 2005. They will be based in Fort Smith, renting an apartment in town. The researchers plan to give a presentation, if requested, to local community groups on their research activities and the ecological study of forests in Wood Buffalo National Park.
The study will be conducted within Wood Buffalo National Park, in forest stands adjacent to and along Highway #5, from June 17 to Dec 31, 2005.