Incorporating climate into belowground carbon estimates in the national greenhouse gas inventoryThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Refined estimation of carbon (C) stocks within forest ecosystems is a critical component of efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the effects of projected climate change through forest C management. Recent evidence has pointed to the importance of climate as a driver of belowground C stocks. This study describes an approach for adjusting allometric models of belowground C with climate-derived predictions of belowground C stocks and quantifies the change in reported belowground C stocks applied to the US National Greenhouse Gas Inventory (NGHGI). Climate-adjusted predictions varied by region and forest type, but represented a 6.4% increase at the national scale when compared to current estimates. By combining allometric equations with trends in temperature, we conclude that climate variables can be used to adjust the US NGHGI estimates of belowground C stocks. Such strategies can also be used to determine the effects of future global change scenarios within a biomass and C accounting framework.