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A synthesis of current knowledge on forests and carbon storage in the United States

Posted date: September 22, 2011
Publication Year: 
2011
Authors: McKinley, Duncan C.; Ryan, Michael G.; Birdsey, Richard A.; Giardina, Christian P.; Harmon, Mark E.; Heath, Linda S.; Houghton, Richard A.; Jackson, Robert B.; Morrison, James F.; Murray, Brian C.; Pataki, Diane E.; Skog, Kenneth E.
Publication Series: 
Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Source: Ecological Applications. 21(6): 1902-1924.

Abstract

Using forests to mitigate climate change has gained much interest in science and policy discussions. We examine the evidence for carbon benefits, environmental and monetary costs, risks and trade-offs for a variety of activities in three general strategies: (1) land use change to increase forest area (afforestation) and avoid deforestation; (2) carbon management in existing forests; and (3) the use of wood as biomass energy, in place of other building materials, or in wood products for carbon storage. We found that many strategies can increase forest sector carbon mitigation above the current 162-256 Tg C/yr, and that many strategies have co-benefits such as biodiversity, water, and economic opportunities.

Citation

McKinley, Duncan C.; Ryan, Michael G.; Birdsey, Richard A.; Giardina, Christian P.; Harmon, Mark E.; Heath, Linda S.; Houghton, Richard A.; Jackson, Robert B.; Morrison, James F.; Murray, Brian C.; Pataki, Diane E.; Skog, Kenneth E. 2011. A synthesis of current knowledge on forests and carbon storage in the United States. Ecological Applications. 21(6): 1902-1924.