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): Eric J. Gustafson; Arjan de Bruijn; Nathanael Lichti; Douglass F. Jacobs; Brian R. Sturtevant; Jane Foster; Brian R. Miranda; Harmony J. Dalgleish
    Date: 2017
    Source: Ecosphere
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Northern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (2.0 MB)


    In the eastern United States, American chestnut (Castanea dentata) was historically a major component of forest communities, but was functionally extirpated in the early 20th century by an introduced pathogen, chestnut blight (Cryphonectria parasitica). Because chestnut is fast-growing, long-lived, and resistant to decay, restoration of American chestnut using blight-resistant stock could have the potential to increase carbon sequestration or storage in forested landscapes. However, carbon dynamics are also affected by interspecific competition, succession, natural disturbance, and forest management activities, and it is unknown how chestnut restoration might interact with these other processes. We used the PnETSuccession extension of the LANDIS-II forest landscape model to study the implications of chestnut restoration on forest composition and carbon storage in the context of other disturbances, including timber harvest and insect pest outbreaks. Our results imply that it could take a millennium or more for chestnut to fully occupy landscapes without aggressive restoration efforts. When successful, chestnut restoration activities displaced other species approximately in proportion to their abundance on the landscape, rather than replacing a single species or genus (e.g., Quercus). Insect pests increased the rate of chestnut colonization by reducing the abundance of competitors, and also had a dominant effect on carbon dynamics. Although chestnut is fast-growing, moderately shade-tolerant, and decomposes very slowly, our results suggest that it can only modestly increase the carbon storage potential of eastern forests. However, our results also demonstrate that compositional changes in forest communities can have noticeable effects on biomass accumulation, even with the large uncertainties introduced by invasive pests.

    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.


    Gustafson, Eric J.; de Bruijn, Arjan; Lichti, Nathanael; Jacobs, Douglass F.; Sturtevant, Brian R.; Foster, Jane; Miranda, Brian R.; Dalgleish, Harmony J. 2017. The implications of American chestnut reintroduction on landscape dynamics and carbon storage. Ecosphere. 8(4): e01773-. 21 p.


    Google Scholar


    American chestnut, carbon cycling, carbon sequestration and storage, forest landscape management, forest landscape modeling, forest restoration, insect pests, LANDIS-II

    Related Search

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