Document Type

Article

Publication Date

8-8-2006

Department

Biological Sciences

Abstract

[1] Ice storms are disturbance events with potential impacts on carbon sequestration. Common forest management practices, such as fertilization and thinning, can change wood and stand properties and thus may change vulnerability to ice storm damage. At the same time, increasing atmospheric CO2 levels may also influence ice storm vulnerability. Here we show that a nonintensively managed pine plantation experienced a ∼250 g C m−2 reduction in living biomass during a single storm, equivalent to ∼30% of the annual net ecosystem carbon exchange of this ecosystem. Drawing on weather and damage survey data from the entire storm cell, the amount of C transferred from the living to the dead biomass pool (26.5 ± 3.3 Tg C), 85% of which will decompose within 25 years, was equivalent to ∼10% of the estimated annual sequestration in conterminous U.S. forests. Conifer trees were more than twice as likely to be killed as leafless deciduous broadleaf trees. In the Duke Forest case study, nitrogen fertilization had no effect on storm‐induced carbon transfer from the living to detrital pool while thinning increased carbon transfer threefold. Elevated CO2 (administered with the free‐air CO2 enrichment (FACE) system) reduced the storm‐induced carbon transfer to a third. Because of the lesser leaf area reduction, plots growing under elevated CO2 also exhibited a smaller reduction in biomass production the following year. These results suggest that forests may suffer less damage during each ice storm event of similar severity in a future with higher atmospheric CO2.

Comments

©Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres

DOI: 10.1029/2005JD006428, 2006

Publication Title

Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres

Volume

111

Issue

D15

First Page

1

Last Page

10

table 1.txt (1 kB)
Characteristics of Storm Damage and Broken Tops for Thinned and Unthinned Plots, With and Without Elevated [CO2] and Fertilization

table 2.txt (1 kB)
Wood and Cell Properties Under Ambient CO2, Elevated CO2, Fertilization, and Elevated CO2 With Fertilization

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