PEI SOLS MS Forests: Carbon Sequestration
Students explore the phenomena of how a tree gets its mass. They are encouraged to think back to what they know about photosynthesis and explain what they know and what they wonder about the phenomena of a seed transforming into a large tree and having mass. Specifically, carbon is taken in from the atmosphere in the form of CO2 and transformed into glucose to provide energy and ultimately building material (cellulose). In this storyline, carbon sequestration refers to the removal of carbon (in the form of carbon dioxide) from the atmosphere through the process of photosynthesis. Carbon storage refers to the amount of carbon bound up in woody material above and below ground.
Carbon sequestration occurs in trees, other plants, the ocean, and soil. Not all plants sequester the same amount of carbon, for example, there’s a difference in the amount of carbon sequestered between young and old trees, and between different species of trees. This has implications for working forests and old growth forests. Using information from this storyline, students will draw conclusions about the value of managing forests to benefit human needs and natural needs.