Incremental Biomass Harvesting

Who’s Involved?

Research Introduction

Bioenergy is emerging as an important component of the expanding alternative energy industry. Maine’s forests have the potential to be a substantial source of the woody biomass used to generate bioenergy.  As the bioenergy and bioproducts sector develops, it will be essential to understand how much biomass is available from the forests to sustainably supply the industry. Logging residues generated during traditional roundwood harvesting operations are a major resource for the bioenergy sector. Not all of the available residues are recoverable due to operational and economic constraints. The objective of this study is to quantify the amount of logging residue remaining on harvested sites (where biomass was recovered) to determine the percentage of available residues that are currently not being recovered. By establishing how much residue remains on the site after a harvest that includes biomass recovery, biomass availability and potential impacts to soil nutrients, water quality, and biodiversity can be better understood.

Research Details

This research will involve tallying woody debris on sites throughout Maine that have recently been whole-tree harvested for both conventional roundwood and energy products. Line transects will be used to determine the volume and tonnage of logging residue remaining on the harvested sites. These values will be compared to the amount of residue recovered during the operation. The proportion of logging residue remaining in the forest following a whole-tree harvest operation will be determined.

What’s New on this Project?

Methodology details are being developed for the field sampling that will begin this summer.