Aboveground carbon stock and distribution in managed and unmanaged mature, natural-origin, pine-hardwood forest standsThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Carbon storage and maintaining forest complexity have been important objectives in developing forest management strategies to address global climate change. Although maintaining complexity and carbon stores are inherently interrelated, the effect of management strategies on these objectives have generally been examined independently. Moreover, little is known about the effect of management on carbon stock and distribution in structurally and compositionally complex forests. This study examines the effect of selective, partial harvests on carbon stock and distribution in natural-origin, 80- to 120-year-old, pine (Pinus spp.)-hardwood stands of southeastern Arkansas. Carbon pool estimates were derived for all aboveground pools. Harvests resulted in slightly more uniform stand structure and reduced aboveground carbon stores by 8 tons per acre. Post-harvest large tree residuals maintained carbon stock at relatively high-levels with greater potential for live tree carbon increment. Carefully planned partial harvests in complex stands may allow for greater flexibility in balancing maintenance of carbon stock and fostering structural and compositional complexity.