Skip to Main Content
Due to a lapse in federal funding, this USDA website will not be actively updated. Once funding has been reestablished, online operations will continue.
Fire management and carbon sequestration in Pine Barren ForestsAuthor(s): Kenneth L. Clark; Nicholas Skowronski; Michael Gallagher
Source: Journal of Sustainable Forestry. 34(1-2): 125-146.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Northern Research Station
View PDF (789.57 KB)
Related Research Highlights
Fire Management and Carbon Sequestration in Pine Barrens Ecosystems
DescriptionPrescribed burning is the major viable option that land managers have for reducing hazardous fuels and ensuring the regeneration of fire-dependent species in a cost-effective manner in Pine Barren ecosystems. Fuels management activities are directly linked to carbon (C) storage and rates of C sequestration by forests. To evaluate the effects of prescribed burning on forest C dynamics, we quantified consumption and accumulation of the forest floor and understory vegetation and measured net CO2 exchange in upland forest stands in the New Jersey Pinelands burned with prescribed fires. Prescribed fires released an average of 470 ± 137 g C m-2 from the litter layer and understory, equivalent to approximately 2-3 yr of sequestered C in undisturbed upland forests. Canopy and understory foliage averaged 85% of preburn periods, and CO2 uptake at near-full sunlight conditions averaged 79% of preborn levels during the following growing season. On an annual basis, stands lost C during the year of the burn, but released C was recovered within 2-3 yr. Field measurements and model simulations suggest that continued prescribed burning in upland fire-dependent pine-dominated stands would have little appreciable effect on long-term forest C dynamics at the landscape scale.
- 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, email@example.com 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.
CitationClark, Kenneth L.; Skowronski, Nicholas; Gallagher, Michael. 2015. Fire management and carbon sequestration in Pine Barren Forests. Journal of Sustainable Forestry. 34(1-2): 125-146.
Keywordsprescribed fire, carbon sequestration, net CO2 exchange, pitch pine, Pine Barrens, New Jersey Pinelands
- Climate change and fire management in the mid-Atlantic region
- Can prescribed fire be used to maintain fuel treatment effectiveness over time in Black Hills ponderosa pine forests?
- A 10-Year Evaluation of Prescribed Winter Burns in Uneven-Aged Stands of Pinus taeda L. and P. echinata Mill.: Woody Understorey Vegetation Response
XML: View XML