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    Because forest ecosystems have the capacity to store large quantities of carbon (C), there is interest in managing forests to mitigate elevated CO2 concentrations and associated effects on the global climate. However, some mitigation techniques may contrast with management strategies for other goals, such as maintaining and restoring biodiversity. Forest thinning reduces C storage in the overstory and recruitment of detrital C. These C stores can affect environmental conditions and resource availability in the understory, driving patterns in the distribution of early and late-seral species. We examined the effects of replicated (N = 7) thinning experiments on aboveground C and understory vascular plant species richness, and we contrasted relationships between aboveground C and early- vs. late-seral species richness. Finally, we used structural equation modeling to examine relationships among early- and late-seral species richness and live and detrital aboveground C stores.

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    Burton, Julia I.; Ares, Adrian; Olson, Deanna H.; Puettmann, Klaus J. 2013. Management trade-off between aboveground carbon storage and understory plant species richness in temperate forests. Ecological Applications. 23(6): 1297-1310.


    carbon mitigation, coarse woody debris, down wood, emergent properties, ground-layer plant communities, herbaceous layer, old growth, structural equation modeling

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