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Forests 2012, 3(2), 300-316; doi:10.3390/f3020300
Article

Using Silviculture to Influence Carbon Sequestration in Southern Appalachian Spruce-Fir Forests

1
, 2,* , 3
 and 3
1 Forest Service, Dixie National Forest, 1789 Wedgewood Lane, Cedar City, UT 84721, USA 2 Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Forest Inventory and Analysis, 507 25th Street, Ogden, UT 84401, USA 3 Department of Wildland Resources and the Ecology Center, 5230 Old Main Hill, Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 March 2012 / Revised: 4 May 2012 / Accepted: 30 May 2012 / Published: 4 June 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Forests for Carbon Capture and Storage)
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Abstract

Enhancement of forest growth through silvicultural modification of stand density is one strategy for increasing carbon (C) sequestration. Using the Fire and Fuels Extension of the Forest Vegetation Simulator, the effects of even-aged, uneven-aged and no-action management scenarios on C sequestration in a southern Appalachian red spruce-Fraser fir forest were modeled. We explicitly considered C stored in standing forest stocks and the fate of forest products derived from harvesting. Over a 100-year simulation period the even-aged scenario (250 Mg C ha1) outperformed the no-action scenario (241 Mg C ha1) in total carbon (TC) sequestered. The uneven-aged scenario approached 220 Mg C ha1, but did not outperform the no-action scenario within the simulation period. While the average annual change in C (AAC) of the no-action scenario approached zero, or carbon neutral, during the simulation, both the even-aged and uneven-aged scenarios surpassed the no-action by year 30 and maintained positive AAC throughout the 100-year simulation. This study demonstrates that silvicultural treatment of forest stands can increase potential C storage, but that careful consideration of: (1) accounting method (i.e., TC versus AAC); (2) fate of harvested products and; (3) length of the planning horizon (e.g., 100 years) will strongly influence the evaluation of C sequestration.
Keywords: additionality; carbon sequestration; fire and fuels extension; forest carbon accounting; Forest Vegetation Simulator; silviculture; spruce-fir additionality; carbon sequestration; fire and fuels extension; forest carbon accounting; Forest Vegetation Simulator; silviculture; spruce-fir
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Moore, P.T.; DeRose, R.J.; Long, J.N.; van Miegroet, H. Using Silviculture to Influence Carbon Sequestration in Southern Appalachian Spruce-Fir Forests. Forests 2012, 3, 300-316.

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