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Woody debris volumes and carbon accumulation differ across a chronosequence of boreal red pine and jack pine stands

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Abstract:

Boreal forests are thought to store more than 30% of the world’s terrestrial carbon (C), much of it in the form of dead wood. Harvesting, stand transformation, and climate change the storage capacity of this carbon pool and improved quantification of C storage is needed to improve the accuracy and coverage of C accounting in Canadian forests. In this study, we compared wood volumes and C storage in coarse woody debris (CWD), fine woody debris (FWD), and standing dead wood (snags) in a 94-year chronosequence of jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.) and red pine (Pinus resinosa Ait.) stands in the Sandilands Provincial Forest, southeastern Manitoba. In our data set of 20 jack pine and 17 red pine stands, jack pine stands supported higher volumes of CWD, snags, and sparsely distributed FWD than red pine stands. Mean CWD volume and C mass were, respectively, 18.6 m3·ha−1 and 2.6 tonnes (t)·ha−1 for jack pine and 11.3 m3·ha−1 and 1.1 t·ha−1 for red pine. Snag volumes and C mass were, respectively, 1.8 m3·ha−1 and 0.25 t·ha−1 for jack pine and 0.26 m3·ha−1 and 0.04 t·ha−1 for red pine. CWD loads in jack pine stands followed a U-shaped distribution with stand age, and snag loads in jack pine increased linearly with time. No such significant trends for CWD or snags were observed in red pine. Our results confirm that stand conversion from fire-origin jack pine to red pine plantations has the potential to significantly reduce and alter temporal patterns of dead wood accumulation across the landscape.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjfr-2013-0100

Affiliations: 1: 29 Leighton Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R2K 0J1, Canada. 2: Biology Department and Centre for Forest Interdisciplinary Research (CFIR), University of Winnipeg, 515 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3B 2E9, Canada.

Publication date: January 1, 2013

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  • Published since 1971, this monthly journal features articles, reviews, notes and commentaries on all aspects of forest science, including biometrics and mensuration, conservation, disturbance, ecology, economics, entomology, fire, genetics, management, operations, pathology, physiology, policy, remote sensing, social science, soil, silviculture, wildlife and wood science, contributed by internationally respected scientists. It also publishes special issues dedicated to a topic of current interest.
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