Removing Timber and modifying Carbon in next release of InVEST
Hi InVEST Users,
As part of our next release of InVEST we'll remove the Managed Timber Production model and simplify the Carbon Storage and Sequestration model in an ongoing effort to modernize the InVEST toolsuite.
Regarding carbon, we'll deprecate the harvested wood products carbon pool functionality as well as the ad hoc uncertainty module. For the moment, we'll retain the core current/future/REDD scenario analysis capability as well as the naive economic valuation module. But looking forward, we recommend users transition to the Carbon Forest Edge model released with InVEST 3.3.0 as it captures the non-linear carbon losses of forest edge effects in addition to the carbon pool storage abstraction of the 2008 model.
The InVEST timber module has been effectively unchanged since 2008. It is, in short, a discount rate net present value calculator for timber yields. Oddly, the model requires data to be input via a georeferenced shapefile despite the aspatiality of its internal economic scheme. Though Timber was important in establishing a set of practical ecosystem service models in 2008, we feel it has not kept up with the modern relative complexity of InVEST and NatCap's theme of "where matters".
Future users of InVEST who wish to experience these old models can always install older versions of InVEST in parallel with the current version. Those versions, their sample data, and user guides are always available for download from http://data.naturalcapitalproject.org/invest-releases/