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Forests 2014, 5(4), 784-801; doi:10.3390/f5040784
Article

The Impact of Windstorm Damage in the Assessment of the Carbon Balance in Even-Aged Fagus sylvatica L. Stands

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Received: 8 February 2014; in revised form: 18 March 2014 / Accepted: 9 April 2014 / Published: 21 April 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest and Wood Vegetation Carbon Stores and Sequestration)
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Abstract: Due to the fact that forest ecosystems can potentially mitigate the impact of climate change, the carbon balance of managed forests has caught the attention of a large scientific community. Some authors conclude that extending rotation lengths would actually favour the climate change mitigation effect since more carbon would be stored in the biomass on the average. However, when the occurrence of catastrophic disturbances such as windstorms is not considered, the advantage of extending the rotation length might be overestimated for some species. In this study, we addressed this issue by coupling a growth model, a windstorm damage model and a carbon assessment tool. The evolution of an even-aged European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) stand was simulated under three different rotation lengths. Simulations including stochastic windstorm events were run and compared with deterministic simulations with no catastrophic disturbance. Our results indicate that when disturbances caused by storms were not taken into account, the carbon balance was actually overestimated in some cases and that this overestimation increased with the rotation length. In our case study, omitting windstorm damage resulted in an overestimation as large as 8% for the longer rotation length. Nevertheless, when windstorm damage was taken into account in the simulation, the longer rotation length still stored more carbon on the average than shorter rotation lengths. However, the marginal gain in carbon storage induced by the increase of the rotation length was reduced.
Keywords: carbon balance assessment; windstorm damage; Monte Carlo simulation; growth predictions; harvested wood products; forest carbon pool carbon balance assessment; windstorm damage; Monte Carlo simulation; growth predictions; harvested wood products; forest carbon pool
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

Fortin, M.; Albrecht, A.; Kohnle, U.; Ningre, F. The Impact of Windstorm Damage in the Assessment of the Carbon Balance in Even-Aged Fagus sylvatica L. Stands. Forests 2014, 5, 784-801.

AMA Style

Fortin M, Albrecht A, Kohnle U, Ningre F. The Impact of Windstorm Damage in the Assessment of the Carbon Balance in Even-Aged Fagus sylvatica L. Stands. Forests. 2014; 5(4):784-801.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Fortin, Mathieu; Albrecht, Axel; Kohnle, Ulrich; Ningre, François. 2014. "The Impact of Windstorm Damage in the Assessment of the Carbon Balance in Even-Aged Fagus sylvatica L. Stands." Forests 5, no. 4: 784-801.


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