AbstractsBiology & Animal Science

Spatial Distribution and Quantification of Forest Treatment Residues for Bioenergy Production

by Lucas A. Wells

Institution: The University of Montana
Department: College of Forestry and Conservation
Degree: MS
Year: 2014
Keywords: stand delineation; biomass price; forest attributes; woody biomass; biomass supply
Record ID: 2024939
Full text PDF: http://etd.lib.umt.edu/theses/available/etd-01102014-143515/


The availability and spatial distribution of forest treatment residues are prerequisites to supply chain development for bioenergy production. To accurately estimate potential residue quantities, data must be provided to simulate stand-level silviculture across the landscape of interest. However, biomass utilization assessments often consider broad regions where adequate data are not supplied. At present, these measures are addressed using strategic level assessments and broad-based management that may not be applicable to all areas of the landscape. This thesis introduces a new methodology for spatially describing stand-level treatment residue quantities based on detailed silvicultural prescriptions and site specific management. Using National Agricultural Imagery Program (NAIP) imagery, the forest is segmented into treatment units based on user defined size constraints. Using a remote sensing model based on NAIP imagery and Forest Inventory and Analysis plot data, these units are attributed with stand-level descriptions of basal area, tree density, above ground biomass, and quadratic mean diameter . The outputs are used to develop silvicultural prescriptions and estimate available treatment residues under three alternative management scenarios at a range of delivered prices per bone dried ton (bdt) to a nearby bioenergy facility in southwestern Colorado. Using a marginal cost approach where treatment costs were covered by merchantable yields, the breakeven delivered price of treatment residues in this study is $48.94 per bdt yielding 167,685 bdt following a 10 year management simulation at a 5,000 acre per year annual allowable treatment level.