InVEST Carbon Model - Carbon pool data

Hi InVEST Carbon community!

I’ve been trying to create LULC carbon models using InVEST Carbon, but I don’t have my own carbon pool data to input into the model. I’ve been trying to search for carbon pool/storage data for each land use, using the IPCC 2006 Methodology report and other similar reports that are listed in the InVEST Carbon Model Documentation, but I’ve been unable to find anything. I’m very new to InVEST, so if anyone has any tips on where to find this type of data it would be much appreciated.

Many Thanks.

Hi @Ciaran -

For a first-pass estimate of carbon, we often use this User Guide source from Reusch and Gibbs. It is quite generic though. To get more specific data, we generally do a literature search for our area in the world. Sometimes people have published carbon studies of local or similar vegetation types. Or perhaps the country has a REDD program document available - these often have useful carbon storage and/or sequestration tables. I’m not aware of anything that makes it easier for us, unfortunately, but would love to hear if anyone else has!

~ Stacie

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Hi @swolny

Thanks for your response. Does the User Guide from Reusch and Gibbs provide carbon data for all four fundamental pools for each LULC class? Sorry if it feels like a very basic question, I am still trying to teach myself the software. I’ve conducted quite an extensive literature review, and am able to find carbon pool data for some pools but not all. It’s very frustrating. I’m not sure if I’m missing something obvious or not.

Hi @Ciaran

The Reusch and Gibbs data is for aboveground and belowground biomass only. It’s common not to find carbon pool data for dead matter, and often soils too, and if you don’t have those values you can just use a value of 0 in the carbon pool table. Sometimes you can get soil carbon from spatial soil data. This won’t be by land cover type, but you can just run the Carbon model on aboveground and belowground, then add the soil layer values in post-processing.

Yes, lit searches for the biophysical tables do tend to be frustrating, I feel your pain.

~ Stacie

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Hi @swolny

Thank you very much, you’ve been a great help!

I have one other question. In order to calculate carbon sequestration on the Carbon model, a future LULC raster file is required. How do you typically calculate these future land cover maps? I’m aware that there are methods such as the CA-Markov model, which uses older land cover maps and compares them in order to predict changes etc using probability. But I was wondering if there is a simpler way of acquiring this information, maybe a simple estimation? Any advice is appreciated.

Many thanks,

Ciarán

Hi @Ciaran -

There are many different ways of creating future land cover maps/scenarios. How to create them depends on what is informing the scenarios, and what kind of information you have about how things change. Are you considering some sort of policy? Using stakeholder input? Do you have actual spatial data on how things might change? If not, what is your criteria for change?

If you have maps of, say, places where an area is to be restored, or converted to another land use type, you can use those spatial areas to edit the original land cover map. If you’re modeling something like urban expansion by X%, you can create a buffer around the urban areas in your current land cover map, and convert the buffered area to urban in the future map. Or perhaps you’re doing a what-if scenario, where all agricultural lands incorporate agroforestry. Then you can do something as simple as changing the carbon pool table values for agriculture, to reflect the increase in carbon from the additional trees.

We also provide a Scenario Generator tool that might be useful - here’s the User Guide description:
“The proximity-based scenario generator creates a set of contrasting land use change maps that convert habitat in different spatial patterns. The user determines which habitat can be converted and what they are converted to, as well as type of pattern, based on proximity to the edge of a focal habitat. In this manner, an array of land-use change patterns can be generated, including pasture encroaching into forest from the forest edge, agriculture expanding from currently cropped areas, forest fragmentation, and many others. The resulting land-use maps can then be used as inputs to InVEST models, or other models for biodiversity or ecosystem services that are responsive to land use change.”

~ Stacie

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