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Individual Highlight

Decadal Change of Forest Biomass Carbon Stocks and Tree Demography

Photo of Bing Xu and the student field crew from Penn re-measured tree and soil attributes in the intensive study plots. Yude Pan, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.Bing Xu and the student field crew from Penn re-measured tree and soil attributes in the intensive study plots. Yude Pan, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.Snapshot : Forests in the Delaware River Basin could continue to be a carbon sink in the coming decades at the current middle successional stage, but would also likely experience remarkable composition and structure changes. Research results show the major effects of species-specific disturbances, such as non-native insects and harvest, on forest dynamics and highlights the importance for forest managers to anticipate these effects in their management plans.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Pan, Yude 
Research Location : Delaware River Basin
Research Station : Northern Research Station (NRS)
Year : 2016
Highlight ID : 996

Summary

Scientists at the Forest Service’s Northern Research Station mentored and supported a PhD study at the University of Pennsylvania examining data collected a decade ago by a Forest Service-led multi-agency program known as the Collaborative Environmental Monitoring and Research Initiative (CEMRI). CEMRI designed three intensive study sites in three watersheds within the Delaware River Basin and established more than 60 plots using Forest Inventory and Analysis protocols but with more intensive measurements of forest variables. In 2012-2013, a group of students and the scientists revisited and remeasured these plots. These data reflect changes of forest carbon and tree demography that were subject to local land-use changes and regional climate change. The study found that the biomass carbon (C) stock of the Delaware River Basin forest increased and was thus a carbon sink over the past decade. It also revealed an increased mortality, which counted for 20 percent of the total biomass C change. The data also show the significant changes in tree demography among species. All oaks including chestnut, white, and black oak, experienced a decrease in living biomass because of the greater mortality rates, while white pine, American beech, and sweet birch increased in both biomass and stem density.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

 
  • University of Pennsylvania

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