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): Robert J. SmithSarah Jovan; Bruce McCune
    Date: 2015
    Source: In: Stanton, Sharon M.; Christensen, Glenn A., comps. 2015. Pushing boundaries: new directions in inventory techniques and applications: Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) symposium 2015. 2015 December 8–10; Portland, Oregon. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-931. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. p 55.
    Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
    Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
    PDF: View PDF  (189.0 KB)

    Description

    A fundamental goal of the forest inventory in interior Alaska is to accurately estimate carbon pools in a way that sheds light on the feedbacks between forests and climate. In boreal forests, moss and lichen mats often serve as the interface between soils and the atmosphere, therefore characterizing the biomass and composition of mats is essential for understanding how forest carbon exchange might interact with shifting climatic regimes. Previous estimation approaches did not permit volumetric estimates of moss mats and were based on inconsistent definitions distinguishing between soil, duff, and moss layers. We confronted these challenges by implementing a novel, non-destructive technique centered on three research questions. First, what is the pattern of biomass and carbon distribution for moss/lichen ground layers in subarctic, interior Alaska? Second, how do climatic and stand-level factors drive these patterns? Third, what are the functional consequences and ecosystem effects of moss/lichen ground layers? Moss and lichen species were assigned to functional groups based on the capacity to fix nitrogen, serve as wildlife forage, indicate disturbance, alter hydrology, or signal eutrophic conditions (among other ecosystem functions). Among 99 sites located in the Tanana River valley of interior Alaska, biomass averaged 12 934 kg ha-1 (SD: 8546), of which carbon was an estimated 5456 (3778) kg ha-1. Biomass had a weakly negative relationship with plant litter depth, to which topoedaphic and climatic factors also contributed. On average there were 7.2 functional groups per site – most frequent and abundant were nitrogen-fixing mosses, which commonly formed extensive, thick carpets. Together, these findings imply that moss and lichen mats in the Tanana River area can contribute substantially to both forest nitrogen stores and organic carbon sequestration.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to pnw_pnwpubs@fs.fed.us to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • 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.

    Citation

    Smith, Robert J.; Jovan, Sarah; McCune, Bruce. 2015. Evaluating carbon stores at the earth-atmosphere interface: moss and lichen mats of subarctic Alaska. In: Stanton, Sharon M.; Christensen, Glenn A., comps. 2015. Pushing boundaries: new directions in inventory techniques and applications: Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) symposium 2015. 2015 December 8–10; Portland, Oregon. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-931. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. p 55.

    Related Search


    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/50178