Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service
  
Treesearch

Research & Development Treesearch

 
Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Northern
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help
 

Science.gov - We Participate


USA.gov  Government Made Easy


Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.
20090-6090

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (1.0 MB byte)

Title: Estimating litter carbon stocks on forest land in the United States

Author: Domke, Grant M.; Perry, Charles H. (Hobie); Walters, Brian F.; Woodall, Christopher W.; Russell, Matthew B.; Smith, James E.;

Date: 2016

Source: Science of The Total Environment. 557-558: 469-478.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Forest ecosystems are the largest terrestrial carbon sink on earth, withmore than half of their net primary productionmoving to the soil via the decomposition of litter biomass. Therefore, changes in the litter carbon (C) pool have important implications for global carbon budgets and carbon emissions reduction targets and negotiations. Litter accounts for an estimated 5% of all forest ecosystem carbon stocks worldwide. Given the cost and time required to measure litter attributes, many of the signatory nations to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change report estimates of litter carbon stocks and stock changes using default values from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or country-specificmodels. In the United States, the country-specificmodel used to predict litter C stocks is sensitive to attributes on each plot in the national forest inventory, but these predictions are not associated with the litter samples collected over the last decade in the national forest inventory. Here we present, for the first time, estimates of litter carbon obtained using more than 5000 fieldmeasurements from the national forest inventory of the United States. The field-based estimates mark a 44% reduction (2081±77 Tg) in litter carbon stocks nationally when compared to country-specific model predictions reported in previous United Framework Convention on Climate Change submissions. Our work suggests that Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change defaults and country-specificmodels used to estimate litter carbon in temperate forest ecosystemsmay grossly overestimate the contribution of this pool in national carbon budgets.

Keywords: United Framework Convention on Climate Change, Greenhouse gas, National forest inventory, Forest floor, Carbon budget

Publication Notes:

  • 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.
  • This publication may be available in hard copy. 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, shobrla@fs.fed.us if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.

XML: View XML

Citation:


Domke, Grant M.; Perry, Charles H.; Walters, Brian F.; Woodall, Christopher W.; Russell, Matthew B.; Smith, James E. 2016. Estimating litter carbon stocks on forest land in the United States. Science of The Total Environment. 557-558: 469-478.

 


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.