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Uncovering the minor contribution of land-cover change in upland forests to the net carbon footprint of a boreal hydroelectric reservoir

Dessureault Pierre-Luc, Boucher Jean-François, Tremblay Pascal, Bouchard Sylvie et Villeneuve Claude. (2015). Uncovering the minor contribution of land-cover change in upland forests to the net carbon footprint of a boreal hydroelectric reservoir. Journal of Environmental Quality, 44, (4), p. 1111-1118.

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URL officielle: http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.2134/jeq2015.02.0071

Résumé

Hydropower in boreal conditions is generally considered the energy source emitting the least greenhouse gas per kilowatt-hour during its life cycle. The purpose of this study was to assess the relative contribution of the land-use change on the modification of the carbon sinks and sources following the flooding of upland forested territories to create the Eastmain-1 hydroelectric reservoir in Quebec’s boreal forest using Carbon Budget Model of the Canadian Forest Sector. Results suggest a carbon sink loss after 100 yr of 300,000 ± 100,000 Mg CO2 equivalents (CO2e). A wildfire sensitivity analysis revealed that the ecosystem would have acted as a carbon sink as long as <75% of the territory had burned over the 100-yr-long period. Our long-term net carbon flux estimate resulted in emissions of 4 ± 2 g CO2e kWh−1 as a contribution to the carbon footprint calculation, one-eighth what was obtained in a recent study that used less precise and less sensitive estimates. Consequently, this study significantly reduces the reported net carbon footprint of this reservoir and reveals how negligible the relative contribution of the land-use change in upland forests to the total net carbon footprint of a hydroelectric reservoir in the boreal zone can be.

Type de document:Article publié dans une revue avec comité d'évaluation
Volume:44
Numéro:4
Pages:p. 1111-1118
Version évaluée par les pairs:Non
Date:2015
Sujets:Sciences naturelles et génie > Sciences appliquées > Eau et environnement
Sciences naturelles et génie > Sciences appliquées > Foresterie et sciences du bois
Département, module, service et unité de recherche:Départements et modules > Département des sciences fondamentales
Mots-clés:hydroelectric reservoir, boreal forest, carbon footprint, land-use, greenhouse gas, GHG, life cycle, carbon sink, carbon budget model
Déposé le:01 juin 2016 17:24
Dernière modification:05 déc. 2016 20:48
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