Forest cutting is a major anthropogenic disturbance that affects forest carbon (C) storage and fluxes. Yet its characteristics and impacts on C cycling are poorly understood over large areas. Using recent annualized forest inventory data, we estimated cutting-related loss of live biomass in the eastern United States was 168 Tg C yr−1 from 2002 to 2010 (with C loss per unit forest area of 1.07 Mg ha−1 yr−1), which is equivalent to 70% of the total U.S. forest C sink or 11% of the national annual CO2 emissions from fossil-fuel combustion over the same period. We further revealed that specific cutting-related C loss varied with cutting intensities, forest types, stand ages, and geographic locations. Our results provide new insights to the characteristics of forest harvesting activities in the eastern United States and highlight the significance of partial cutting to regional and national carbon budgets.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Forest cutting and impacts on carbon in the eastern United States|
|Series title||Scientific Reports|
|Publisher||Nature Publishing Group|
|Contributing office(s)||Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center|
|Description||Article 3547: 7 p.|