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Category: Ecological Research

Title: Fuel treatment effects on tree-based forest carbon storage and emissions under modeled wildfire scenarios

Author: Hurteau, M.D. , North, M.

Subject: Carbon, Climate change, Fuels, Wildfire

Abstract: Forests are viewed as a potential sink for carbon (C) that might otherwise contribute to climate change. It is unclear, however, how to manage forests with frequent fire regimes to maximize C storage while reducing C emissions from prescribed burns or wildfire. We modeled the effects of eight different fuel treatments on tree-based C storage and release over a century, with and without wildfire. Model runs show that, after a century of growth without wildfire, the control stored the most C. However, when wildfire was included in the model, the control had the largest total C emission and largest reduction in live-tree-based C stocks. In model runs including wildfire, the final amount of tree-based C sequestered was most affected by the stand structure initially produced by the different fuel treatments. In wildfire-prone forests, tree-based C stocks were best protected by fuel treatments that produced a low-density stand structure dominated by large, fireresistant pines.

Date: 2009

Type: Journal

Source: Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment

Identifier: doi:l0.1890/080049

Publisher: Ecological Society of America

Format: PDF

Language: English