Advancing non-destructive and scalable field methods to measure tree carbon storage and sequestration in Indian cities, Joshua Eastman, UG '22 (3957288)
Urban trees in India have the potential to offset significant fractions of local per-capita carbon emissions. This study advances knowledge about India urban trees and citywide scaling approaches to enable accurate, scalable biogenic carbon accounting in India cities. Nondestructive terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) with LiDAR and increment coring field methods are used in the city of Pune, Maharashtra, India to develop an urban general volume equation (V = 0.006·DBH^1.65, R2 = 0.68, V in m3 and DBH in cm) and Pune-average diameter increment growth rate (1 ± 0.09 cm diameter increase / year). These analytical tools are applied directly to Pune’s bottom-up tree to produce citywide carbon stock and sequestration totals. Pune’s trees store approximately 0.78 million metric tons (Mt) Carbon (2.87 Mt-CO2e) and sequester approximately 75,000 metric tons Carbon per year (0.28 Mt-CO2e / year). Sequestration by Pune’s urban trees equals 6.7% of 2019 per-capita CO2e emissions. Scaling with remote sensed tree canopy area and random patch inventory is fairly consistent with scaling by tree census. A computationally friendly database of 1,696 existing India allometric equations for 224 unique tree species and a database of 109 existing diameter-increment growth rates for 92 unique tree species is developed for comparison of Pune urban trees to traditional forest trees. Urban trees in Pune grow 4x as fast and are 3x larger than traditional forest trees, which suggests that the 0.8 biomass scaling factor used in US-based urban tree carbon inventories is not transferrable to Indian cities.