Concerns about climate change have increased interest in ways to maximize carbon (C) storage in forests through the use of alternative forest management strategies. However, the influence of these strategies on soil C pools is unclear. The primary objective of this study was to test for differences in mineral soil C stocks among various silvicultural and harvesting treatments that were initiated in the 1950s and have been maintained since on the Penobscot Experimental Forest in central Maine, USA. Five mineral soil cores below the surface organic horizon to a depth of 1 m were collected from each replicate (n = 2) of selection, shelterwood, and commercial clearcut treatments. For these treatments, the mean mineral soil C stock was 47.7 ± 16.4 Mg ha-1 (mean ± SD). We found no significant differences in average mineral soil C stocks among treatments. However, a post hoc power analysis indicated that the probability of detecting a significant treatment effect was only 6%. We determined that 98 stands per treatment would be required to be 80% certain that the F test would detect a difference in average mineral soil C stocks whenever any pair of treatments had C stocks differing by more than 5 Mg ha-1.
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Vol. 96 • No. 2