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Title: A synthesis of the science on forests and carbon for U.S. Forests

Author: Ryan, Michael G.; Harmon, Mark E.; Birdsey, Richard A.; Giardina, Christian P.; Heath, Linda S.; Houghton, Richard A.; Jackson, Robert B.; McKinley, Duncan C.; Morrison, James F.; Murray, Brian C.; Pataki, Diane E.; Skog, Kenneth E.

Year: 2010

Publication: Issues In Ecology 13:1-16.

Abstract: Forests play an important role in the U.S. and global carbon cycle, and carbon sequestered by U.S. forest growth and harvested wood products currently offsets 12-19% of U.S. fossil fuel emissions. The cycle of forest growth, death, and regeneration and the use of wood removed from the forest complicate efforts to understand and measure forest carbon pools and flows. Our report explains these processes and examines the science behind mechanisms proposed for increasing the amount of carbon stored in forests and using wood to offset fossil fuel use. We also examine the tradeoffs, costs, and benefits associated with each mechanism and explain how forest carbon is measured.

Last Modified: 5/18/2010

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