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Complex forest dynamics indicate potential for slowing carbon accumulation in the southeastern United StatesAuthor(s): John W. Coulston; David N. Wear; James M. Vose
Source: Scientific Reports 5: 8002. 6 p.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Southern Research Station
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Carbon Accumulation by U.S. Forests May Slow Over the Next 25 Years
DescriptionOver the past century forest regrowth in Europe and North America expanded forest carbon (C) sinks and offset C emissions but future C accumulation is uncertain. Policy makers need insights into forest C dynamics as they anticipate emissions futures and goals. We used land use and forest inventory data to estimate how forest C dynamics have changed in the southeastern United States and attribute changes to land use, management, and disturbance causes. From 2007-2012, forests yielded a net sink of C because of net land use change (+6.48 Tg C yr -1) and net biomass accumulation (+75.4 Tg C yr -1). Forests disturbed by weather, insect/disease, and fire show dampened yet positive forest C changes (+1.56,+1.4,+5.48 Tg C yr -1, respectively). Forest cutting caused net decreases in C(-76.7 TgC yr -1) but was offset by forest growth (+143.77 Tg C yr -1). Forest growth rates depend on age or stage of development and projected C stock changes indicate a gradual slowing of carbon accumulation with anticipated forest aging (a reduction of 9.5% over the next five years). Additionally, small shifts in land use transitions consistent with economic futures resulted in a 40.6% decrease in C accumulation.
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CitationCoulston, John W.; Wear, David N.; Vose, James M. 2015 Complex forest dynamics indicate potential for slowing carbon accumulation in the southeastern United States. Scientific Reports 5: 8002. 6 p.
- Observed and projected C change in the Southeastern US
- From sink to source: Regional variation in U.S. forest carbon futures
- Forest carbon dynamics associated with growth and disturbances in Oklahoma and Texas, 1992-2006
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