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


    Deadwood can represent a substantial portion of forest ecosystem carbon stocks and is often reported following good practice guidance associated with national greenhouse gas inventories. In high-latitude forest ecosystems, a substantial proportion of downed deadwood is overgrown by ground vegetation and buried in the humus layer. Such burial obfuscates the important process of deadwood carbon transfer to other pools (e.g., litter and soil) and emission to the atmosphere (i.e., rates of decay). Using data from the Swedish National Forest Inventory, we found that the proportion of downed logs that is buried increased from temperate to boreal forests. Several factors affect the probability of burial, including log attributes (e.g., decay class), ground vegetation (e.g., moss dominance, type of moss cover), and edaphic conditions (e.g., soil type, depth of organic layer). Combined assessments suggest that about 24% of the carbon in the aboveground downed deadwood pool was found to be buried in boreal forests. Deadwood burial has important implications for forest carbon dynamics and associated monitoring (e.g., United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change reporting) as such a pool typically decomposes much slower compared with aboveground deadwood.

    Publication Notes

    • 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, 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.


    Stokland, Jogeir N.; Woodall, Christopher W.; Fridman, Jonas; Ståhl, Göran. 2016. Burial of downed deadwood is strongly affected by log attributes, forest ground vegetation, edaphic conditions, and climate zones. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 46(12): 1451-1457.


    Google Scholar


    buried wood, coarse woody debris, greenhouse gas accounting, wood decomposition, soil carbon

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page