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New Zealand Journal of Forestry (2017) 62(1): 8–15
©New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Feature article
Potential for forestry on highly erodible land in New Zealand

Euan G. Mason *,1 and Justin Morgenroth 2

1 Professor, New Zealand School of Forestry, University of Canterbury, Christchurch. Email:
2 Senior Lecturer, New Zealand School of Forestry, University of Canterbury, Christchurch
*Corresponding author.

Abstract: Potential CO2 sequestration from new forests planted in New Zealand was estimated assuming a planting rate of 50,000 ha per year. An analysis of erosion-prone Kyoto-compliant land revealed that an area of 1.3 million ha was available for planting. 26 years of planting were assumed, and sequestration was assessed at an estate level for 60 years following the first plantings. Six different combinations of species and silvicultural regimes were compared. If the entire area was planted in radiata pine and left to grow, then for some years total sequestration rates approached New Zealandís total gross greenhouse gas emissions and forests could render the nation greenhouse gas neutral. At the other extreme, either planting indigenous species or planting radiata pine destined for harvest with an appearance grade regime would result in considerably lower, but still very useful, levels of CO2 sequestration. In all scenarios, sequestration levels varied a great deal across years of simulation, and this variation should be taken into account if sequestration of CO2 by new forests is employed as a means to help New Zealand meet its climate change mitigation commitments.
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