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Modeling the Carbon Implications of Ecologically Based Forest Management

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Technical Report,27 Sep 2011,30 Sep 2015

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Pennsylvania State University University Park United States

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Increasing treatment intensity resulted in decreasing total ecosystem carbon TEC. Treatments that included thinning, however, increased net ecosystem carbon balance, making thinned forests a larger sink for carbon. This finding is a result of decreased competition for resources resulting from thinning. At Fort Benning actively restoring longleaf pine forest LLP decreased TEC by approximately 22 compared to the control broadleaved forest. LLP restoration, however, increased red cockaded woodpecker habitat such that approximately 90 of the upland forest area e.g. historically LLP forest was viable habitat by the end of the simulation period. At Camp Navajo thinning and prescribed burning treatments decreased TEC relative to the control in the absence of wildfire, but increased TEC relative to the control when wildfire was simulated. Simulations also demonstrated that thinning and burning decreases the risk of habitat loss for the Mexican spotted owl. At Joint Base Lewis McChord treatments that included thinning resulted in the lowest TEC, but the highest net ecosystem carbon balance. In addition, thin-only and thin and burn treatments significantly increased the probability of Oregon white oak presence by the end of the simulation period, an important food source for western gray squirrel during mast years.

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