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Persistent changes in tree mortality rates can alter forest structure, composition, and ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration. Our analyses of longitudinal data from unmanaged old forests in the western United States showed that background (noncatastrophic) mortality rates have increased rapidly in recent decades, with doubling periods ranging(More)
Simulations of carbon storage suggest that conversion of old-growth forests to young fast-growing forests will not decrease atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO(2)) in general, as has been suggested recently. During simulated timber harvest, on-site carbon storage is reduced considerably and does not approach old-growth storage capacity for at least 200 years.(More)
M icroclimate is the suite of climatic conditions measured in localized areas near the earth's surface (Geiger 1965). These environmental variables , which include temperature, light, wind speed, and moisture, have been critical throughout human history , providing meaningful indicators for habitat selection and other activities. For example, for 2600 years(More)
Riparian zones are vital components of the landscape. Much attention has been focused on the question of how wide a buffer is needed to protect the original riparian environment. We sampled five streams 2–4 m wide and associated riparian ecosystems before and after clearcutting in western Washington. Buffers ranging from 17 to 72 m wide were left intact at(More)
Placing an upper bound to carbon (C) storage in forest ecosystems helps to constrain predictions on the amount of C that forest management strategies could sequester and the degree to which natural and anthropogenic disturbances change C storage. The potential, upper bound to C storage is difficult to approximate in the field because it requires studying(More)
Forest managers need a comprehensive scientific understanding of natural stand development processes when designing silvicultural systems that integrate ecological and economic objectives, including a better appreciation of the nature of disturbance regimes and the biological legacies, such as live trees, snags, and logs, that they leave behind. Most(More)
S evere natural disturbances – such as wildfires, wind-storms, and insect epidemics – are characteristic of many forest ecosystems and can produce a " stand-replacement " event, by killing all or most of the dominant trees therein (Figure 1). Typically, limited biomass is actually consumed or removed in such events, but many trees and other organisms(More)
Forests are major components of the global carbon cycle, providing substantial feedback to atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. Our ability to understand and predict changes in the forest carbon cycle--particularly net primary productivity and carbon storage--increasingly relies on models that represent biological processes across several scales of(More)