Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): John B. Bradford; Nicholas R. Jensen; Grant M. Domke; Anthony W. D'Amato
    Date: 2013
    Source: Forest Ecology and Management. 308: 178-187.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Northern Research Station
    PDF: View PDF  (1.44 MB)


    Forested ecosystems contain the majority of the world’s terrestrial carbon, and forest management has implications for regional and global carbon cycling. Carbon stored in forests changes with stand age and is affected by natural disturbance and timber harvesting. We examined how harvesting and disturbance interact to influence forest carbon stocks over the Superior National Forest, in northern Minnesota. Forest inventory data from the USDA Forest Service, Forest Inventory and Analysis program were used to characterize current forest age structure and quantify the relationship between age and carbon stocks for eight forest types. Using these findings, we simulated the impact of alternative management scenarios and natural disturbance rates on forest-wide terrestrial carbon stocks over a 100-year horizon. Under low natural mortality, forest-wide total ecosystem carbon stocks increased when 0% or 40% of planned harvests were implemented; however, the majority of forest-wide carbon stocks decreased with greater harvest levels and elevated disturbance rates. Our results suggest that natural disturbance has the potential to exert stronger influence on forest carbon stocks than timber harvesting activities and that maintaining carbon stocks over the long-term may prove difficult if disturbance frequency increases in response to climate change

    Publication Notes

    • Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
    • Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
    • During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
    • Please contact Sharon Hobrla, if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Bradford, John B.; Jensen, Nicholas R.; Domke, Grant M.; D'Amato, Anthony W. 2013. Potential increases in natural disturbance rates could offset forest management impacts on ecosystem carbon stocks. 308: 178-187.


    Google Scholar


    Forest inventory, Harvest intensity, Simulation, Carbon pools, Superior National Forest

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page