Carbon Impacts of Duke's Campus Drive Realignment and New Campus
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Carbon Impacts of Duke’s Campus Drive Realignment and New Campus Plan By Joseph B. Jackson April 2011 Senior administrators at Duke University have determined the need to build a new Central Campus. This new campus has been described as a community developed to advance academic endeavors, to promote collaborative learning and to foster interdisciplinary research. It will be built on generous property holdings along portions of the existing Campus Drive which will be realigned to remain the significant transportation spine connecting Duke’s destination components. A variety of natural resources will be impacted by the development of the new campus. Greatly impacted will be the trees that currently exist in and around the area designated for the new campus. These trees have been identified as belonging to one of three conditions of vegetative structures. These structures are defined as cultivated canopy, managed woodland, and emergent woodland. Trees within these structures range from mature hardwood trees to those planted in open lawns to trees densely populated in natural areas. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is one of the “greenhouse” gases thought to be contributing to an increase in atmospheric temperatures that traps radiation in the atmosphere. The trees existing in the planned site of the new campus store and sequester carbon. For clarification, the difference between the two processes is that stored carbon represents present-day mass and sequestered carbon represents the growth of a tree from one year to the next. Since the trees in these conditions of vegetative structure sequester CO2 and affect the emission of CO2 from surrounding areas, they play a meaningful role in helping to combat increasing levels of atmospheric CO2. A projection on the number of trees that will be lost on the affected properties will be made and the potential impact on carbon will be evaluated. Tools and procedures will be recommended to help manage and mitigate potential carbon loss.
DepartmentNicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences
SubjectCarbon in Trees at Duke
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