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Giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) in the UK: carbon storage potential and growth rates

Holland, Ross; Castro, Guilherme; Chavana-Bryant, Cecilia; Levy, Ron; Moat, Justin; Robson, Thomas; Wilkinson, Tim; ... Disney, Mathias; + view all (2024) Giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) in the UK: carbon storage potential and growth rates. Royal Society Open Science , 11 (3) , Article 230603. 10.1098/rsos.230603. Green open access

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Abstract

Giant sequoias (Sequoiadendron giganteum) are some of the UK's largest trees, despite only being introduced in the mid-nineteenth century. There are an estimated half a million giant sequoias and closely related coastal redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) in the UK. Given the recent interest in planting more trees, partly due to their carbon sequestration potential and also their undoubted public appeal, an understanding of their growth capability is important. However, little is known about their growth and carbon uptake under UK conditions. Here, we focus on S. giganteum and use three-dimensional terrestrial laser scanning to perform detailed structural measurements of 97 individuals at three sites covering a range of different conditions, to estimate aboveground biomass (AGB) and annual biomass accumulation rates. We show that UK-grown S. giganteum can sequester carbon at a rate of 85 kg yr-1, varying with climate, management and age. We develop new UK-specific allometric models for S. giganteum that fit the observed AGB with r 2 > 0.93 and bias < 2% and can be used to estimate S. giganteum biomass more generally. This study provides the first estimate of the growth and carbon sequestration of UK open-grown S. giganteum and provides a baseline for estimating their longer-term carbon sequestration capacity.

Type: Article
Title: Giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) in the UK: carbon storage potential and growth rates
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1098/rsos.230603
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.230603
Language: English
Additional information: © 2024 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.
Keywords: biomass, carbon, giant redwood, lidar, three-dimensional structure
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10189434
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