Although many forests are actively sequestering carbon, little research has examined the direct effects of forest management practices on carbon sequestration. At the Howland Forest in Maine, USA, we are using eddy covariance and biometric techniques to evaluate changes in carbon storage following a shelterwood cut that removed just under 30% of aboveground biomass. Prior to harvest, the stand contained about 76 Mg C/ha (30 m2/ha basal area) in aboveground and belowground live biomass. Harvesting removed about 15 Mg C/ha (SEM = 2.1) and created about 5.3 Mg C/ha (SEM = 1.1) of aboveground and 5.2 Mg C/ha (SEM = 0.7) of root/stump detritus. Leaf-area index (LAI) and litterfall declined by about 40% with harvest. Approximately half of the harvested wood was used for paper products and half for longer-lived wood products.
Scott, Neal A.; Rodrigues, Charles A.; Hughes, Holly; Lee, John T.; Davidson, Eric A.; Dail, D Bryan; Malerba, Phil; Hollinger, David Y. 2004. Changes in carbon storage and net carbon exchange one year after an initial shelterwood harvest at Howland Forest, ME. Environmental Management. 33(S1): S9-S22.