Discipline: Ecology Environmental and Earth Sciences
Subcategory: Environmental Engineering
Sandra Ponce - Taft College
Co-Author(s): Dayanand Saini
The State of California has now passed a new law to reduce, greenhouse gas (GHG), emissions by 40% by 2030 and 80% by 2050. A significant portion (37%) of GHG emissions in California comes from mobile sources (i.e. various modes of transportations). Terrestrial CO2 storage (i.e. taking the advantage of inherent ability of certain tree species for storing carbon) for reducing the concentration of CO2, which is major GHG, from atmosphere is one of many ways to tackle the problem of GHG emissions resulting from mobile sources. In this project we focused on finding good candidate trees that are drought resistant, native to California, and could continue to sequester high amounts of atmospheric carbon dioxide over an extended period (hundreds of years) of time. We used several forestry databases for gathering a list of 37 candidate trees. Based on drought resistance of each of the candidate trees, the list was further narrowed downed to 14. For the screened trees, pounds of carbon dioxide stored per year were calculated using the publicly available methods. One of the trees that was evaluated is the Ginkgo Biloba tree. It was found that this tree, on average, will sequester 747 pounds of carbon dioxide per year. This California native tree is drought tolerant, and can live for up to 3,000 years. This tree can adapt itself to polluted areas which would be great for regions like the San Joaquin Valley which is not only facing serious air pollution problem but also is one of the high water stress regions in California. When looking for candidate tree species, other factors were also considered. In cases of the California Buckeye tree and the Armstrong pine tree, both appeared great candidates however California Buckeye is poisonous to honey bees, whereas, Armstrong Pine’s dry leaves are dangerous to horses. Such factors may have unintended consequences of adopting terrestrial CO2 storage as an effective mean for combating GHG emissions resulting from mobile sources. The future work will be focused on performing initial calculation for the need of trees per acre and the planting acreage that could be able to make a difference in abating the GHG emissions causing from transportation sector.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): This project is supported by the NSF CREST Grant awarded to California State University Bakersfield.
Faculty Advisor: Dayanand Saini, email@example.com
Role: I did all of the research listed in this abstract. I created a list of trees that met the requirements for this project. I researched and found the Carbon sequestration calculation and applied it to the list of qualified tree species, determined which would be great candidates and I also reviewed AB 32 and the GHG reports.