An increasing fraction of global wood and fiber needs is met by intensively managed plantations. Since forests capture and store large amounts of carbon that would otherwise remain in the atmosphere as climate warming carbon dioxide, researchers need to understand how managed forests affect regional carbon cycling and atmospheric feedbacks. Forest Service scientists at the Forest Service’s Southern Research Station Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center and their collaborators reviewed current global datasets that underline large differences in forest structure and standing carbon stocks between managed and unmanaged stands. The researchers discovered that in managed forests, carbon is stored differently in plant parts, signaling a tradeoff between above-ground productivity and below-ground carbon storage. The researchers also found that the greater frequency of harvests and physical disturbance of soil in managed forests results in higher respiration and soil carbon loss. These findings can help land managers develop strategies for maximizing the ecosystem services and benefits derived from managed forests, including soil carbon storage.