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Understanding Trees Essay

1495 words - 6 pages

• To calculate the carbon dioxide sequestered in a typical tree
• To calculate the equivalent gallons of combusted gasoline a tree represents
• To evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of mathematical models
• the balanced chemical reaction for photosynthesis
• To recognize the relationship between photosynthesis and cellular respiration.
• To describe the role of trees in the carbon cycle
In photosynthesis, solar energy is converted to chemical energy. The chemical energy is stored in the form of glucose (sugar). Carbon dioxide, water, and sunlight are used to produce glucose, oxygen, and water. The chemical equation for this process is:

6CO2 + 12H2O + light → C6H12O6 + 6O2 + 6H2O
While photosynthesis is performed by most plants who can prepare their own food, most animals fulfill their energy requirements through cellular respiration. Plants provide oxygen for cellular respiration whereas animals provide carbon di oxide for photosynthesis.
Carbon sequestration is the process of absorption and capture of carbon from the atmosphere. Trees capture carbon from the atmosphere as long as they are growing, and they store the carbon throughout their life, even after they are harvested. Burning wood products as fuel releases the same carbon back into the atmosphere that was once captured by the trees, resulting in a net zero carbon impact.

We need:
To pick a tree from one of the following categories:
Category 1: oak, hickory, maple
Category 2: Southern pine
a tape measure
a calculator
a stick
piece of paper
pencil or pen

An oak tree was selected and data was recorded in a table in the notebook.
The circumference of the tree in inches at chest height was measured.
Diameter of tree was calculated.
The height of tree was calculated.
Set up a proportion, and calculate the height of the tree in feet.
The U.S. Forest Service mathematical model is used predict the weight of a tree if its measurements are known.
For oak, hickory, or maple trees with diameter less than 11 inches:
GW = 0.38315 ((H D2)0.92045)
For oak, hickory, or maple trees with diameter greater than 11 inches:
GW = 0.1171 ((D2) 1.16763)(H 0.92045)
For Southern pine trees with diameter less than five inches:
GW = 0.32214 ((H D2)0.9133)
For Southern pine with diameter greater than five inches:
GW = 0.19821 ((D2) 1.06419)(H 0.9133)
Where GW = green weight in pounds, D is diameter in inches, and H is height in feet
Green weight is the weight of the living tree, including the weight of a lot of water. The U.S. Forest Service does not include the weight of the roots in its model. It is estimated that for oak trees, the roots weigh about 20 percent of the green weight of the above ground tree weight.
6. The total green weight of your living tree was calculated. Also, the dry weight of tree was calculated by using the formula below):
DW = 0.7536 TGW
Where DW is dry weight in pounds, and TGW is total...

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