Forest cutting and impacts on carbon in the eastern United States

Scientific Reports
By: , and 

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Abstract

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 COemissions 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.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Forest cutting and impacts on carbon in the eastern United States
Series title Scientific Reports
DOI 10.1038/srep03547
Volume 3
Year Published 2013
Language English
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Contributing office(s) Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
Description Article 3547: 7 p.
Country United States