Skip to Main Content
Decomposition rates of American chestnut (Castanea dentata) wood and implications for coarse woody debris poolsAuthor(s): Arjan de Bruijn; Eric J. Gustafson; Daniel M. Kashian; Harmony J. Dalgleish; Brian R. Sturtevant; Douglass F. Jacobs
Source: Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 44(12): 1575-1585.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Northern Research Station
Download Publication (760.46 KB)
DescriptionObservations of the rapid growth and slow decomposition of American chestnut (Castanea dentata (Marsh.) Borkh.) suggest that its reintroduction could enhance terrestrial carbon (C) sequestration. A suite of decomposition models was fit with decomposition data from coarse woody debris (CWD) sampled in Wisconsin and Virginia, U.S. The optimal (two-component exponential) model was integrated with generic growth curves and documented longevity and typical stem density to evaluate how CWD and biomass pools relate to decomposition. CWD decomposed faster in Wisconsin (4.3% ± 0.3% per year) than in Virginia (0.7% ± 0.01% per year), and downed dead wood decomposed faster (8.1% ± 1.9% per year) than standing dead wood (0.7% ± 0.0% per year). We predicted considerably smaller CWD pools in Wisconsin (maximum 41 ± 23 Mg C·ha-1) than in Virginia (maximum 98 ± 23 Mg C·ha-1); the predicted biomass pool was larger in the faster growing Wisconsin trees (maximum 542 ± 58 Mg C·ha-1) compared with slower growing trees in Virginia (maximum 385 ± 51 Mg C·ha-1). Sensitivity analysis indicated that accurate estimates of decomposition rates are more urgent in fertile locations where growth and decomposition are rapid. We conclude that the American chestnut wood is intermediate in resistance to decomposition. Due to the interrelatedness of growth and decomposition rates, CWD pool sizes likely do not depend on species alone but on how the growth and decomposition of individual species vary in response to site productivity.
- 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.
Citationde Bruijn, Arjan; Gustafson, Eric J.; Kashian, Daniel M.; Dalgleish, Harmony J.; Sturtevant, Brian R.; Jacobs, Douglass F. 2014. Decomposition rates of American chestnut (Castanea dentata) wood and implications for coarse woody debris pools. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 44(12): 1575-1585.
KeywordsAmerican chestnut, coarse woody debris, decomposition, carbon cycling, carbon sequestration, forest carbon simulations, forest growth, modeling, plantation development.
- Leaf physiology and morphology of Castanea dentata (Marsh) Borkh., Castanea mollissima Blume, and three backcross breeding generations planted in the southern Appalachians, USA
- Making history: Field testing of blight-resistant American chestnut (Castanea dentata) in the Southern Region
- Lessons from the field: The first tests of restoration American chestnut (Castanea dentata) seedlings planted in the Southern Region
XML: View XML