Title: The theoretical and empirical basis for understanding the impact of thinning on carbon stores in forests
Author: Harmon, Mark E.;
Source: In: Anderson, P.D.; Ronnenberg, K.L., eds. Density management in the 21st century: west side story. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-880. Portland, OR: US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station: 115-115.
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Description: Th inning of forests has been proposed as a means to increase the carbon stores of forests. Th e justifi cation often offered is that thinning increases stand productivity, which in turn leads to higher carbon stores. While thinning of forests clearly increases the growth of residual trees and increases the amount of harvested carbon compared to an unthinned stand, there is little theoretical or empirical basis for believing that this activity increases the average carbon stores of forests. By removing trees, leaf area is temporarily decreased and carbon input to the forest via photosynthesis is also temporarily decreased. In theory, reducing the input of carbon to a forest will reduce its average carbon stores. Moreover, by increasing the amount of carbon harvested over a rotation, a greater proportion of carbon is removed, which general ecosystem theory also predicts will lower average carbon stores.
Keywords: thinning, uneven-aged management, regeneration, structural diversity, species diversity, Douglas-fir.
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Harmon, Mark E. 2013. The theoretical and empirical basis for understanding the impact of thinning on carbon stores in forests. In: Anderson, P.D.; Ronnenberg, K.L., eds. Density management in the 21st century: west side story. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-880. Portland, OR: US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station: 115-115.
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