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Using existing thinning studies to investigate the carbon consequences of thinning: learning from the past to craft the future

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Year Published

2010

Publication

In: Adams, M.B.; McNeel, J.; Rodriguez-Franco, C., comps. 2010. Meeting current and future conservation challenges through the synthesis of long-term silviculture and range management research. Gen. Tech. Rep. WO-84. Washington, DC: US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 25-35.

Abstract

Although long-term research is a critical tool for answering forest management questions, managers must often make decisions before results from such experiments are available. One way to meet those information needs is to reanalyze existing long-term data sets to address current research questions; the Forest Service Experimental Forests and Ranges (EFRs) network provides a plethora of opportunities for investigations of this nature. This study is a pilot test to assess the feasibility of using existing long-term data sets from density management studies to develop carbon sequestration estimates for forests across the United States; the objective is to generalize carbon implications of different thinning methods within and across geographic regions and forest types. Although long-term records from historic studies provide many opportunities, using these data presents many challenges, including lack of documentation and experimental design constraints. In this preliminary study, such obstacles did not permit the development of generalizations about the carbon consequences of density management treatments, although carbon stock estimates were developed for four different studies. In addition to carbon data, a discussion of the challenges inherent in working with existing long-term records is presented, as well as specific recommendations to facilitate the use of long-term experiments for retrospective and/or synthetic analyses.

Citation

Hoover, Coeli M. 2010. Using existing thinning studies to investigate the carbon consequences of thinning: learning from the past to craft the future. In: Adams, M.B.; McNeel, J.; Rodriguez-Franco, C., comps. 2010. Meeting current and future conservation challenges through the synthesis of long-term silviculture and range management research. Gen. Tech. Rep. WO-84. Washington, DC: US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 25-35.

Last updated on: October 16, 2014