Advertisement

Wetlands

pp 1–11 | Cite as

Wood Biomass and Carbon Pools within a Floodplain Forest of the Congaree River, South Carolina, USA

  • Matthew C. RickerEmail author
  • Gavin D. Blosser
  • William H. Conner
  • B. Graeme Lockaby
General Wetland Science

Abstract

Riverine forests support high rates of plant productivity, yet total wood carbon (C) stocks in these systems remain understudied. We measured C concentrations and dry mass of live and dead detrital wood to understand their importance relative to total ecosystem C storage across an elevation gradient on the floodplain of the Congaree River. Our study sites included a low elevation bald cypress swamp and three higher elevation mature mixed bottomland hardwood communities. Average wood C concentration was 45.9 ± 0.07% and estimated cumulative C pools (sum of downed and standing dead wood plus live tree, sapling, and shrub wood) ranged from 6850 to 17,200 g C/m2 for bottomland hardwood forests and 17,700 g C/m2 for the bald cypress swamp. Most of the aboveground C was stored in living wood (83.1–90.5% total aboveground pools). Our results indicate that the mass and C stored in live and dead wood are at the high end of both measured and modeled ranges reported in the literature for temperate zone forests. As such, the mature bottomland forests of the Congaree River represent a substantial and important store of sequestered C.

Keywords

Carbon pools Woody debris Bottomland forest 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors thank Steven Hutchinson, Jamie Duberstein, Brian Williams, Lauren Behnke, Robin Governo, Andrew Parsons, and Robert Price for their assistance in the field and laboratory. The authors are grateful to Dr. William Bridges, Jr. for statistical guidance as well as Drs. Alex Chow and Bo Song for editing initial versions of this manuscript. Special thanks to Cliff Hupp and Ed Schenk with the United States Geological Survey for quantifying plot elevations and all personnel at Congaree National Park that supported this research. The project described in this publication was supported by Grant/Cooperative Agreement Number G10 AC00157 from the United States Geological Survey administered through the Piedmont South-Atlantic Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit (CESU) and by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)/USDA, under Project No. SCZ-1700531. Technical Contribution No. 6711 of the Clemson University Experimental Station.

Supplementary material

13157_2019_1150_MOESM1_ESM.docx (17 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 17 kb)

References

  1. Allen BP, Sharitz RR, Goebel PC (2005) Twelve years post-hurricane liana dynamics in an old-growth southeastern floodplain forest. Forest Ecology and Management 218:259–269CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bates LJ, Garton EO, Wisdom MJ, Torgersen TR (2009) Biased estimation of forest log characteristics using intersect diameters. Forest Ecology and Management 258:635–640CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Behnke, LD (2014) Influence of microtopography and nutrient limitation on belowground productivity in an old-growth floodplain forest at Congaree National Park, SC, USA. Thesis, Auburn UniversityGoogle Scholar
  4. Blosser, GD (2018) Assessment of aboveground net primary productivity and carbon pools, detrital biomass, community structure, and species composition across a floodplain forest of the Congaree River. Dissertation, Clemson UniversityGoogle Scholar
  5. Bradford J, Weishampel P, Smith M, Kolka R, Birdsey RA, Ollinger SV, Ryan MG (2009) Detrital carbon pools in temperate forests: magnitude and potential for landscape-scale assessment. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 39:802–813CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brown JK (1974) Handbook for inventorying downed woody material. General Technical Report INT-16, United States Department of Agriculture, U.S. Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Ogden, UtahGoogle Scholar
  7. Burton ML, Samuelson LJ (2008) Influence of urbanization of riparian forest diversity and structure in the Georgia piedmont, US. Plant Ecology 195:99–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Clark III A, Phillips DR, Frederick DJ (1985) Weight, volume, and physical properties of major hardwood species in the Gulf and Atlantic coastal plains. USDA Forest Service, Southeastern Forest Experiment Station, Research Paper SE-250, Asheville, North CarolinaGoogle Scholar
  9. Conner WH, Mihalia I, Wolfe J (2002) Tree community structure and changes from 1987 to 1999 in three Louisiana and three South Carolina forested wetlands. Wetlands 22:58–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Fahey TJ, Siccama TG, Driscoll CT, Likens GE, Campbell J, Johnson CE, Battles JJ, Aber JD, Cole JJ, Fisk MC, Groffman PM, Hamburg SP, Holmes RT, Schwarz PA, Yanai RD (2005) The biogeochemistry of carbon at Hubbard Brook. Biogeochemistry 75:109–176CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fasth BG, Harmon ME, Sexton J (2011) Decomposition of fine woody debris in a deciduous forest in North Carolina. Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society 138:192–206CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gaddy LL, Kohlsaat TS, Laurent EA, Stansell KB (1975) A vegetation analysis of preserve alternatives involving the Beidler Tract of the Congaree Swamp. Division of Natural Area Acquisition and Resources Planning, SC Wildlife and Marine Resources Department, Columbia, South CarolinaGoogle Scholar
  13. Harmon ME, Franklin JF, Swanson FJ, Sollins P, Gregory SV, Lattin JD, Anderson NH, Cline SP, Aumen NG, Sedell JR, Lienkaemper GW, Cromack K Jr, Cummins KW (1986) Ecology of coarse woody debris in temperate ecosystems. Advances in Ecological Research 15:133–302CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Jenkins JC, Chojnacky DC, Heath LS, Birdsey RA (2003) National-scale biomass estimators for United States tree species. Forest Science 49:12–35Google Scholar
  15. Jenkins MA, Webster CR, Parker GR, Spetich MA (2004) Coarse woody debris in managed central hardwood forests of Indiana, USA. Forest Science 50:781–792Google Scholar
  16. Jobbágy EG, Jackson RB (2000) The vertical distribution of soil organic carbon and its relation to climate and vegetation. Ecological Applications 10:423–436CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Jolley RL, Lockaby BG, Cavalcanti GG (2010) Changes in riparian forest composition along a sedimentation rate gradient. Plant Ecology 210:317–330CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Jones RH, Sharitz RR, Dixon PM, Segal DS, Scheider RL (1994) Woody plant regeneration in four floodplain forests. Ecological Monographs 64:345–367CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lininger KB, Wohl E, Sutfin NA, Rose JR (2017) Floodplain downed wood volumes: a comparison across three biomes. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 42:1248–1261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Mather PM (1976) Computational methods of multivariate analysis in physical geography. John Wiley & Sons Inc., London, United KingdomGoogle Scholar
  21. Mayer JJ, Nelson EA, Wike LD (2000) Selective depredation of planted hardwood seedlings by wild pigs in a wetland restoration area. Ecological Engineering 15(Supplement 1):S79–S85CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. McCune B, Grace JB (2002) Analysis of ecological communities. MjM software design, Gleneden Beach, OregonGoogle Scholar
  23. Megonigal JP, Conner WH, Kroeger S, Sharitz RR (1997) Aboveground production in southeastern floodplain forests: a test of the stress - subsidy hypothesis. Ecology 78:370–384Google Scholar
  24. Meitzen KM (2009) Lateral channel migration effects on riparian forest structure and composition, Congaree River, South Carolina, USA. Wetlands 29:465–475CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Mitchell JD, Lockaby BG, Brantley EF (2011) Influence of Chinese privet (Ligustrum sinense) on decomposition and nutrient availability in riparian forests. Invasive Plant Science and Management 4:437–447CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Mitsch WJ, Bernal B, Nahlik AM, Mander U, Zhang L, Anderson CJ, Jorgensen SE, Brix H (2013) Wetlands, carbon, and climate change. Landscape Ecology 28:583–597CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Moerschbaecher MK, Keim RF, Day JW (2016) Estimating carbon stocks in uneven-aged bottomland hardwood forest stands in south Louisiana. In: Schweitzer CJ, Clatterbuck WK, Oswalt CM (eds) Proceedings of the 18th biennial southern silvicultural research conference, General Technical Report SRS–212. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station, Asheville, North Carolina, pp 589–595Google Scholar
  28. Muller RN (2003) Landscape patterns of change in coarse woody debris accumulation in an old-growth deciduous forest on the Cumberland plateau, southeastern Kentucky. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 33:763–769CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Phillips D (1981) Predicted total-tree biomass of understory hardwoods. United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service Research Paper SE-223, Asheville, North CarolinaGoogle Scholar
  30. Polit JI, Brown S (1996) Mass and nutrient content of dead wood in a Central Illinois floodplain forest. Wetlands 16:488–494CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Putz FE, Sharitz RR (1991) Hurricane damage to old-growth forest in Congaree swamp National Monument, South Carolina, USA. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 21:1765–1770CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Radford AE, Ahles HE, Bell CR (1968) Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas. University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, North CarolinaGoogle Scholar
  33. Rice MD, Lockaby BG, Stanturf JA, Keeland BD (1997) Woody debris decomposition in the Atchafalaya River Basin of Louisiana following hurricane disturbance. Soil Science Society of America Journal 61:1264–1274CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Ricker MC, Lockaby BG (2015) Soil organic carbon stocks in a large eutrophic floodplain forest of the southeastern Atlantic coastal plain, USA. Wetlands 35:291–301CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Ricker MC, Lockaby BG, Blosser GD, Conner WH (2016) Rapid wood decay and nutrient mineralization in an old-growth bottomland forest. Biogeochemistry 127:323–338CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Sain JD, Schilling EB, Aust WM (2012) Evaluation of coarse woody debris and forest litter based on harvest treatment in a tupelo-cypress wetland. Forest Ecology and Management 280:2–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. SAS Institute Inc. 2015. JMP® pro, version 12.2.0. Cary, North CarolinaGoogle Scholar
  38. Shelley DC, Cohen AD (2010) Geologic constraints on the platform geometry of the Congaree River, South Carolina. Carolina Geology 47:19–31Google Scholar
  39. Song X, Tian H, Xu X, Hui D, Chen G, Sommers G, Marzen L, Liu M (2013) Projecting terrestrial carbon sequestration of the southeastern United States in the 21st century. Ecosphere 4:88CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Spetich MA, Shifley SR, Parker GR (1999) Regional distribution and dynamics of coarse woody debris in midwestern old-growth forests. Forest Science 45:302–313Google Scholar
  41. Sutfin NA, Wohl EE, Dwire KA (2016) Banking carbon: a review of organic carbon storage and physical factors influencing retention in floodplains and riparian ecosystems. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 41:38–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Turner DP, Koerper GJ, Harmon ME, Lee JJ (1995) A carbon budget for forests of the conterminous United States. Ecological Applications 5:421–436CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Veit J (2017) Invasive beetle that kills ash trees found in three Upstate counties. Media Release August 10, 2017; Clemson University, Clemson SC. Available: www.newsstand.clemson.edu/mediarelations/invasive-beetle-that-kills-ash-trees-found-in-three-upstate-counties/. Accessed 27 April 2018
  44. Waddell KL (2002) Sampling coarse woody debris for multiple attributes in extensive resource inventories. Ecological Indicators 1:139–153CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Walls RL, Wardrop DH, Brooks RP (2005) The impact of experimental sedimentation and flooding on the growth and germination of floodplain trees. Plant Ecology 176:203–213CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Wohl E, Polvi LE, Cadol D (2011) Wood distribution along streams draining old-growth floodplain forests in Congaree National Park, South Carolina, USA. Geomorphology 126:108–120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Woldendorp G, Keenan RJ, Barry S, Spencer RD (2004) Analysis of sampling methods for coarse woody debris. Forest Ecology and Management 198:133–148CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Woodall CW, Liknes GC (2008) Relationships between forest fine and coarse woody debris carbon stocks across latitudinal gradients in the United States as an indicator of climate change effects. Ecological Indicators 8:686–690CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Woodall CW, Nagel LM (2006) Coarse woody type: a new method for analyzing coarse woody debris and forest change. Forest Ecology and Management 227:115–121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Woodall CW, Williams MS (2005) Sampling protocol, estimation, and analysis procedures for down woody materials indicator of the FIA program. General Technical Report NC-256. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Research Station, St. Paul, MinnesotaGoogle Scholar
  51. Woodall CW, Westfall JA, Lutes DC, Oswalt SN (2008) End-point diameter and total length coarse woody debris models for the United States. Forest Ecology and Management 255:3700–3706CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Zimmerman JB, Mihelcic JR, Smith J (2008) Global stressors on water quality and quantity. Environmental Science and Technology 42:4247–4254CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Society of Wetland Scientists 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Crop and Soil SciencesNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA
  2. 2.Baruch Institute of Coastal Ecology and Forest ScienceClemson UniversityGeorgetownUSA
  3. 3.School of Forestry and Wildlife SciencesAuburn UniversityAuburnUSA

Personalised recommendations