Estimating long-term carbon sequestration patterns in even- and uneven-aged southern pine stands

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Abstract

Carbon (C) sequestration has become an increasingly important consideration for forest management in North America, and has particular potential in pine-dominated forests of the southern United States. Using existing literature on plantations and long-term studies of naturally regenerated loblolly (Pinus taeda) and shortleaf (Pinus echinata) pine-dominated stands on the Crossett Experimental Forest, allometric biomass equations, and reasonable assumptions about forest product life cycles, we projected the net C pools of the following silvicultural systems over a 100-year period: a short rotation loblolly pine plantation (4 rotations); a seed treebased (natural origin) even-aged loblolly/shortleaf pine stand (2 rotations); and an uneven-aged loblolly/shortleaf pine stand (20 cutting-cycle harvests under the selection method). Both the seed tree stand and the intensively managed pine plantation produced large (if fluctuating) quantities (up to almost 190 tons/ha) of aboveground live biomass. Though not as productive as the even-aged treatments, the uneven-aged pine stands produced a steady stream of sequestered C in the form of high quality sawtimber while simultaneously maintaining a steady stock of 61.5 to 78.5 tons/ha of live aboveground biomass.

  • Citation: Bragg, Don C.; Guldin, James M. 2010. Estimating long-term carbon sequestration patterns in even- and uneven-aged southern pine stands. In: Jain, Theresa B.; Graham, Russell T.; Sandquist, Jonathan, tech. eds. Integrated management of carbon sequestration and biomass utilization opportunities in a changing climate: Proceedings of the 2009 National Silviculture Workshop; 2009 June 15-18; Boise, ID. Proceedings RMRS-P-61. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 111-123.

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