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Paula Yarur

Masters Student, University of Canterbury

Paula Yarur has a degree in administration in ecotourism enterprises. She has mainly worked in the Chilean Patagonia and New Zealand’s Fiordland National Park. She is now a Master student at the School of Forestry at The University of Canterbury, having shifted from a background in Sustainable Tourism to a Carbon Forestry career. She has been based in Christchurch for almost eight years and has worked with local communities, tourists and scientists, and is now researching on the carbon sequestration rates from restoration plantings of Quail Island and the southern Port Hills in Canterbury. With a general interest in native species’ carbon forestry and local communities, she looks forward to contributing new knowledge about current carbon sequestration rates to achieve carbon goals through restoration plantings of native New Zealand trees.

Carbon Sequestration Rates of Native Restoration Plantings, Southern Port Hills and Quail Island, Canterbury

Tues 10 Nov, 14:45 – 15:05

Local and national level carbon zero targets and emissions reduction plans involve carbon sequestration from new plantings. To better plan for the reintroduction of trees into our landscapes, supporting evidence on the carbon sequestration rates of our existing plantings is required. As the debate arises between planting exotic versus native tree species, it has become clear more studies are needed within our native restoration plantings. These plantings have been done by the community and local authority groups with different management and planting strategies primarily for biodiversity conservation.

Quail Island and the southern Port Hills are emblematic areas of Canterbury where there is a growing interest in their expansion and enhancement with more native trees which can also offer carbon offsets to local emissions. These existing restoration plantings can show us how effectively our previous restoration efforts have sequestered carbon. Randomised plots were established across several restoration planting sites to quantify the biomass volume and carbon, thus providing a representation of current carbon volumes and future expectations. Having a total carbon amount for the species diversity present in this area will allow us to determine how much carbon new plantings can be expected to sequester.

Different allometric equations based on shrubs and mature trees will be used to interpret the carbon outcomes and look for any relationships between planting assemblage, site elevation and aspect for carbon sequestered. In addition, the rates of carbon sequestration in individual Podocarpus totara will be assessed. The results from this research will help the planning and decision making of future restoration programmes to support both biodiversity sequestration and carbon sequestration goals.

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