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    Author(s): Matthew D. Hurteau; Malcolm P. North; George W. Koch; Bruce A. Hungate
    Date: 2019
    Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Pacific Southwest Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (1.0 MB)

    Description

    Managing forests to store carbon has focused on increasing forested area, decreasing area lost to logging and clearing, and increasing forest carbon density. Warming, drought, and wildfires challenge the stability of carbon stored in forests. What has been missing is the explicit use of disturbance ecology to factor tree mortality risk. For wildfire and other impactful disturbances, our understanding is sufficient to incorporate these risks into policy mechanisms that enhance forest carbon storage. Doing so would substantially improve global forest carbon policy for climate mitigation. There is considerable potential to sustain forests’ role in climate mitigation by assigning economic value to management actions that employ forest disturbance ecology to mitigate the risk of large fires.

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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Hurteau, Matthew D.; North, Malcolm P.; Koch, George W.; Hungate, Bruce A. 2019. Opinion: Managing for disturbance stabilizes forest carbon. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 116(21): 10193-10195. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1905146116.

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    Keywords

    disturbance, fire, forest carbon

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