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1 July 2008 Controls on Annual Forest Carbon Storage: Lessons from the Past and Predictions for the Future
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Abstract
The temperate forests of North America may play an important role in future carbon (C) sequestration strategies. New, multiyear, ecosystem-scale C cycling studies are providing a process-level understanding of the factors controlling annual forest C storage. Using a combination of ecological and meteorological methods, we quantified the response of annual C storage to historically widespread disturbances, forest succession, and climate variation in a common forest type of the upper Great Lakes region. At our study site in Michigan, repeated clear-cut harvesting and fire disturbance resulted in a lasting decrease in annual forest C storage. However, climate variation exerts a strong control on C storage as well, and future climate change may substantially reduce annual C storage by these forests. Annual C storage varies through ecological succession by rising to a maximum and then slowly declining in old-growth stands. Effective forest C sequestration requires the management of all C pools, including traditionally managed pools such as bole wood and also harvest residues and soils.
Christopher M. Gough, Christoph S. Vogel, Hans Peter Schmid and Peter S. Curtis "Controls on Annual Forest Carbon Storage: Lessons from the Past and Predictions for the Future," BioScience 58(7), (1 July 2008). https://doi.org/10.1641/B580708
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