Canadian Forest Service Publications

Effects of harvesting intensity on carbon stocks in eastern Canadian red spruce (Picea rubens) forests: An exploratory analysis using the CBM-CFS3 simulation model. 2008. Taylor, A.R.; Wang, J.R.; Kurz, W.A. Forest Ecology and Management 255(10): 3632-3641.

Year: 2008

Available from: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 28310

Language: English

CFS Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2008.02.052

† This site may require a fee.

Abstract

Carbon stocks and stock changes in a chronosequence of 24 red spruce (Picea rubens Sarg.) dominated stands in Nova Scotia, Canada, were compared against predictions from the Carbon Budget Model of the Canadian Forest Sector (CBM-CFS3). Regression analysis of the observed versus simulated total ecosystem C stocks indicates the model's predictions accounted for 81.1% of the variation in the observed biomass data and for 63.2% of the variation in total ecosystem C data; however, the simultaneous F-test for bias was significant. Discrepancy between the observed and simulated total ecosystem C data was primarily caused by differences in dead organic matter C pool estimates, with the model consistently predicting higher soil C throughout stand development. Changes to model parameters were not warranted however, as the field data measured only a portion of the mineral soil profile represented in the model.

Clear-cut and partial-cut harvesting scenarios for red spruce stands were simulated to examine the impacts of clear-cut and partial-cut harvesting on C stocks. Total ecosystem C increased in the partial-cut stand throughout the 240-year simulation from 308.9 to 327.3 Mg C ha-1, while it decreased in the clear-cut stand to 305.8 Mg C ha-1. Enhanced C sequestration in the partial-cut stand was a consequence of the residual standing biomass providing a continuous source of litterfall and reducing decomposition rates of the forest floor. Choice of harvest system clearly affects forest ecosystem C stocks, but also affects the amount of C removed from forests to meet society's needs. Over the period of the simulation, partial cutting provided 115.6 Mg C ha-1 of merchantable timber, while clear-cutting provided 132.4 Mg C ha-1. Strategies aimed at using forest management to mitigate atmospheric C increases need to assess both the direct impacts on the forest ecosystem and the indirect impacts through product and energy substitution associated with the use and storage of harvested biomass.

Date modified: