Measurement and modeling of the forest carbon resource in the Nothofagus forests of Tierra del Fuego, Chile
Swanson, Mark Ellyson
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This research quantifies the carbon stored in Nothofagus-dominated forests of Tierra del Fuego, Chile, and investigates a number of factors that influence the amount of carbon stored in these forest ecosystems. An intensive inventory of above-ground forest biomass, including live trees, snags, and downed coarse woody debris, was conducted in 40 forest stands. Carbon content of live and dead woody material was quantified. Nothofagus stands in Tierra del Fuego have a higher proportion of biomass represented by coarse woody debris (downed wood and snags) than a number of other forest types from around the world.The relationship of forest carbon in three pools (overstory, coarse woody debris, and the O+A horizons of the soil) was related to landform variables using a regression analysis. While there was a marginally significant relationship of overstory to topographic variables, the overall relationships were weak. Further research will be necessary to elucidate the relationship between landform and forest carbon pools in Tierra del Fuego.The impacts of anthropogenic fire on forest dynamics were assessed to inform long-term forest management policy related to carbon sequestration objectives. Forest recovery is slow following fire, but post-fire areas are more species rich than in forest interiors. If managing for carbon sequestration rather than biodiversity is an objective, than reforestation of burned areas may be necessary.The LANDIS-II forest model was utilized to predict the impacts of timber harvest on landscape-scale carbon storage in the largely unharvested Nothofagus forests of Tierra del Fuego. Timber harvest reduced landscape-level carbon stores up to 35%, with reductions depending upon the type and intensity of timber harvest.
- Forestry