Reed College Canyon

The Reed College campus carbon budget: sources and sinks of carbon in the grassland, forest and spring water of Reed College campus

author: Michele La Merrill
advisor: David Dalton
year: 2002

ABSTRACT: The rate of biological CO2 storage can offset the rate of anthropogenic CO2 emissions to the atmosphere. This study examines the rate of CO2 flux for freshwater, trees, grass, and detritus of Reed College campus as a potential offset for campus based anthropogenic CO2 emissions. The CO2 accumulation in campus trees was estimated using the growth rate of P. menziesii on site along with allometric approximations of biomass. Grass, detritus and freshwater CO2 exchange rates were determined by infrared gas analysis. Reed College campus grass absorbs more CO2 annually per year (1.36 x 108 kg CO2) than trees (1.96 x 104 kg CO2). Net CO2 absorption of campus (4.18 x 105 kg CO2 y-1) is not an adequate offset of net anthropogenic CO2 emission with the most confined definition of anthropogenic contribution (6.72 x 106 kg CO2 y-1). These results suggest that Reed College should purchase carbon credits to offset net CO2 emissions (6.30 x 106 kg CO2 y-1) while continuing to monitor the rate of increase in storage due to change in Crystal Springs canyon carbon accrual.