Advertisement

Ecosystems

, Volume 9, Issue 7, pp 1051–1065 | Cite as

Effects of Management on Carbon Sequestration in Forest Biomass in Southeast Alaska

  • Wayne W. LeightyEmail author
  • Steven P. Hamburg
  • John Caouette
Article

Abstract

The Tongass National Forest (Tongass) is the largest national forest and largest area of old-growth forest in the United States. Spatial geographic information system data for the Tongass were combined with forest inventory data to estimate and map total carbon stock in the Tongass; the result was 2.8 ± 0.5 Pg C, or 8% of the total carbon in the forests of the conterminous USA and 0.25% of the carbon in global forest vegetation and soils. Cumulative net carbon loss from the Tongass due to management of the forest for the period 1900–95 was estimated at 6.4–17.2 Tg C. Using our spatially explicit data for carbon stock and net flux, we modeled the potential effect of five management regimes on future net carbon flux. Estimates of net carbon flux were sensitive to projections of the rate of carbon accumulation in second-growth forests and to the amount of carbon left in standing biomass after harvest. Projections of net carbon flux in the Tongass range from 0.33 Tg C annual sequestration to 2.3 Tg C annual emission for the period 1995–2095. For the period 1995–2195, net flux estimates range from 0.19 Tg C annual sequestration to 1.6 Tg C annual emission. If all timber harvesting in the Tongass were halted from 1995 to 2095, the economic value of the net carbon sequestered during the 100-year hiatus, assuming $20/Mg C, would be $4 to $7 million/y (1995 US dollars). If a prohibition on logging were extended to 2195, the annual economic value of the carbon sequestered would be largely unaffected ($3 to $6 million/y). The potential annual economic value of carbon sequestration with management maximizing carbon storage in the Tongass is comparable to revenue from annual timber sales historically authorized for the forest.

Keywords

carbon sequestration geographic information system climate change forest management Alaska 

Notes

Acknowledgements

W.W.L. received financial support from the Royce Fellowship program at Brown University. We thank Mike McClellan, Frances Biles, and Dave D’Amore at the US Forest Service Juneau Forestry Sciences Laboratory for invaluable help with data collection and manipulation. Mark Harmon, Linda Heath, and two anonymous reviewers provided insightful comments on an earlier version of the manuscript.

References

  1. Alemdag IS. 1984. Total tree and merchantable stem biomass equations for Ontario hardwoods. Informational Report PI-X-46. Canadian Forestry Service. Canada Chalk River, Ontario: Petawawa National Forestry Institute, Canadian Forestry Service, AgricultureGoogle Scholar
  2. Alexander EB, Kissinger E, Huecker RH, Cullen P. 1989. Soils of southeast Alaska as sinks for organic carbon fixed from atmospheric carbon-dioxide. p. 203-210 In E.B. Alexander (ed.) Proc. of Watershed ’89: A conference on the Stewardship of Soil, Air, and Water Resources. 21-23 Mar. 1989. Juneau, Alaska. USDA Forest Service General Technical Report No. R10-MB-77. Juneau, Alaska: USDA Forest ServiceGoogle Scholar
  3. Barker JR, Baumgardner GA, Turner DP, Lee JJ. 1995. Potential carbon benefits of the Conservation Reserve Program in the United States. J Biogeogr 22:743–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brown JK. 1974. Handbook for inventorying downed woody material. General Technical Report INT-GTR-16. US Department of Agriculture. Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station Fort Collins, ColoradoGoogle Scholar
  5. Cairns MA, Brown S, Helmer EH, Baumgardner GA. 1997. Root biomass allocation in the world’s upland forests. Oecologia 111:1–11CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Caspersen JP, Pacala SW, Jenkins JC, Hurtt GC, Moorcraft PR, Birdsey RA. 2000. Contributions of land-use history to carbon accumulation in U.S. forests. Science 290:1148–51PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. D’Amore DV, Lynn WC. 2002. Classification of forested Histosols in southeast Alaska. Soil Sci Soc Am J 66:554–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. DeMars DJ. 2000. Stand-density study of spruce-hemlock stands in southeastern Alaska. General Technical Report PNW-GTR-496. US Department of Agriculture. Ogden, Utah: Pacific Northwest Research StationGoogle Scholar
  9. Dixon RK, Brown S, Houghton RA, Solomon AM, Trexler MC, Wisniewski J. 1994. Carbon pools and flux of global forest ecosystems. Science 263:185CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Everest FH, Swanston DN, Shaw CG III, Smith WP, Julin KR, Allen SD. 1997. Evaluation of the use of scientific information in developing the 1997 forest plan for the Tongass National Forest. General Technical Report PNW-GTR-415. US Department of Agriculture Forest Service. Portland, Oregon: Pacific Northwest Research StationGoogle Scholar
  11. Fahey TD. 1983. Product recovery from hemlock “pulpwood” from Alaska. Research Paper PNW-303. US Department of Agriculture. Portland, Oregon: Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Experiment StationGoogle Scholar
  12. Hamburg SP, Zamolodchikov DG, Korovin GN, Nefedjev VV, Utkin AI, Gulbe JI, Gulbe TA. 1997. Estimating the carbon content of Russian forests: a comparison of phytomass/volume and allometric projections. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change Netherlands: Springer2:247–65CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Harmon ME, Ferrell WK, Franklin JF. 1990. Effects on carbon storage of conversion of old-growth forests to young forests. Science 247:699–702CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Houghton RA, Hackler JL, Lawrence KT. 1999. The U.S. carbon budget: contributions from land-use change. Science 285:574–7PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Janisch JE, Harmon ME. 2002. Successional changes in live and dead wood carbon stores: implications for net ecosystem productivity. Tree Physiol 22:77–89PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Johnson DW, Curtis PS. 2001. Effects of forest management on soil C and N storage: meta-analysis. For Ecol Manage 140:227–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kimmey JW. 1956. Cull factors for Sitka spruce, western hemlock and western red cedar in southeast Alaska. Station Paper No. 6. US Department of Agriculture. Juneau, Alaska: Alaska Forest Research CenterGoogle Scholar
  18. Krumlik GJ. 1974. Biomass and nutrient distribution in two old growth forest ecosystems in south coastal British Columbia. Masters thesis, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.CGoogle Scholar
  19. Nowacki G, Shephard M, Krosse P, Pawuk W, Fisher G, Baichtal J, Brew D, and others. 2001. Ecological subsections of southeast Alaska and neighboring areas of Canada. Technical Publication R10-TP-75. US Department of Agriculture Forest Service. Alaska Region, Juneau, Alaska: USDA Forest ServiceGoogle Scholar
  20. Prentice IC, Farquhar GD, Fasham MJR, Goulden ML, Heimann M, Jaramillo VJ, Kheshgi HS, et al. 2001. The carbon cycle and atmospheric carbon dioxide. In: Houghton JT, Ding Y, Griggs DJ, Noguer M, van der Linden PJ, Dai X, Maskell K, et al, editors. Climate change 2001: the scientific basis. Cambridge (UK): Cambridge University Press. p 183–238Google Scholar
  21. Sampson RN, Hair D, editors. 1996. Forest management opportunities for mitigating carbon emissions. Forest and global change; vol 2. American Forests Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  22. Santantonio D, Hermann RK, Overton WS. 1977. Root biomass studies in forest ecosystems. Pedobiologia 17:1–31Google Scholar
  23. Shaw DL. 1977. Biomas equations for Douglas-fir, western redcedar, and red alder in Washington and Oregon. Tech. Rep. 044-3001/77/22. Centralia, WA: Weyerhaeuser CorpGoogle Scholar
  24. Singh T. 1983. Weight tables for important tree species in the Northwest Territories. Report on. NOR FMN-27. Canadian Forestry Service. Edmonton, Alberta: Northern Forest Research CentreGoogle Scholar
  25. Skog KE, Nicholson GA. 1998. Carbon cycling through wood products: the role of wood and paper products in carbon sequestration. For Prod J 48(7):75–84Google Scholar
  26. Smithwick EAH, Harmon ME, Remillard SM, Acker SA, Franklin JF. 2002. Potential upper bounds of carbon stores in forests of the pacific northwest. Ecol Appl 12(5):1303–17Google Scholar
  27. Standish JT, Manning GH, Demaerschalk JP. 1983. Development of biomass equations for British Columbia tree species. Informational Report BC-X-264. Canadian Forestry Service. Victoria, B.C.: Pacific Forest Research CentreGoogle Scholar
  28. Turner DP, Koerper GJ, Harmon ME, Lee JJ. 1995. A carbon budget for forests of the conterminous United States. Ecol Appl 5(2):421–36Google Scholar
  29. US Forest Products Laboratory. 1974. Wood handbook: wood as an engineering material. Agricultural Handbook 72. US Department of Agriculture. Washington, D.C.: US Government Printing OfficeGoogle Scholar
  30. USDA Forest Service. 2005. Tongass National Forest facts. Available online at: http://www.fs.fed.us/r10/tongass/
  31. USDA Forest Service. 2000. Tongass National Forest. Available online at: Existing_Veg [vector digital data]. http://www.permanent.access.gpo.gov/websites/fsfedus/www.fs.fed.us/r10/tongass/gisinfo/page
  32. USDA Forest Service. 2001. Timber Sale Program Information Reporting System (TSPIRS), fiscal year 1998 TSPIRS documents. Available online at: http://www.fs.fed.us/land/fm/tspirs/1998tspirs/
  33. USDA Forest Service. 1995a. Timber supply and demand. Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. Section 706(a). Report to Congress no. 15. Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, Sect. 706(a) Report to Congress. Alaska Region, Juneau, Alaska: US Forest ServiceGoogle Scholar
  34. USDA Forest Service. 1995b. Field procedures for the southeast Alaska inventory 1995. Juneau, Alaska: Pacific Northwest Research Station Forestry Sciences Laboratory and Region 10Google Scholar
  35. USDA Soil Conservation Service. 1992a. Classification and correlation of the soils of the Stikine area, Alaska. Report no. SSSA-645. US Department of Agriculture. Petersburg Area, Anchorage, Alaska: USDA Forest ServiceGoogle Scholar
  36. USDA Soil Conservation Service. 1992b. Classification and correlation of the soils of the Chatham area, Alaska. Report no. SSSA-646. US Department of Agriculture. Sitka Area, Anchorage, Alaska: USDA Forest ServiceGoogle Scholar
  37. USDA Soil Conservation Service. 1994. Classification and correlation of the soils of the Ketchikan area, Alaska. Report no. SSSA-644. US Department of Agriculture. Ketchikan Area, Anchorage, Alaska: USDA Forest ServiceGoogle Scholar
  38. US Environmental Protection Agency. 2003. Inventory of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and sinks: 1990–2001. Washington (DC): US Environmental Protection AgencyGoogle Scholar
  39. Waddel KL. Public Communication 2001. An application of line interest sampling to estimate attributes of coarse woody debris in resource inventories, USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest research Station, Forest Sciences Laboratory, Portland, OregonGoogle Scholar
  40. Warren DD. 1999. Production, prices, employment, and trade in northwest forest industries, fourth quarter 1997. Resource Bulletin PNW-RB-230. US Department of Agriculture. Portland, Oregon: Pacific Northwest Research StationGoogle Scholar
  41. Watson RT, Noble IR, Bolin B, Ravindranath NH, Verardo DJ, Dokken DJ, editors. 2000. Land use, land-use change, and forestry. Cambridge (UK): Cambridge University PressGoogle Scholar
  42. Weyant JP. 2000. An introduction to the economics of climate change policy. Arlington (VA): Pew Center on Global Climate Change. 56 pGoogle Scholar
  43. Yanai RD, Currie WS, Goodale CL. 2003. Soil carbon dynamics following forest harvest: an ecosystem paradigm reviewed. Ecosystems 6:197–212CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Yarie J, Mead BR. 1988. Twig and foliar biomass estimation equations for major plant species in the Tanana River basin of interior Alaska. Research Paper PNW-RP-401. US Department of Agriculture. Portland, Oregon: Pacific Northwest Research StationGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wayne W. Leighty
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Steven P. Hamburg
    • 1
  • John Caouette
    • 2
  1. 1.Center for Environmental StudiesBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  2. 2.Regional Office, Wildlife, Fisheries, Ecology and WatershedUS Forest ServiceJuneauUSA
  3. 3.JuneauUSA

Personalised recommendations