Restoring forest structure and process stabilizes forest carbon in wildfire-prone southwestern ponderosa pine forests.

  title={Restoring forest structure and process stabilizes forest carbon in wildfire-prone southwestern ponderosa pine forests.},
  author={Matthew D. Hurteau and Shuang Liang and Katherine L. Martin and Malcolm P. North and George W. Koch and Bruce A. Hungate},
  journal={Ecological applications : a publication of the Ecological Society of America},
  volume={26 2},
  • M. HurteauS. Liang B. Hungate
  • Published 1 March 2016
  • Environmental Science
  • Ecological applications : a publication of the Ecological Society of America
Changing climate and a legacy of fire-exclusion have increased the probability of high-severity wildfire, leading to an increased risk of forest carbon loss in ponderosa pine forests in the southwestern USA. Efforts to reduce high-severity fire risk through forest thinning and prescribed burning require both the removal and emission of carbon from these forests, and any potential carbon benefits from treatment may depend on the occurrence of wildfire. We sought to determine how forest… 

Quantifying the Carbon Balance of Forest Restoration and Wildfire under Projected Climate in the Fire-Prone Southwestern US

The results suggest that in southwestern ponderosa pine, restoring forest structure and surface fire regimes provides a reasonable hedge against the uncertainty of future climate change for maintaining the forest C sink.

Forest restoration as a strategy to mitigate climate impacts on wildfire, vegetation, and water in semiarid forests.

The model results predict that the combination of climate change and high-severity fire will drive forest turnover, biomass declines, and compositional change in future forests, and the hydrologic model suggests that mid-elevation forests, which are the targets of restoration treatments, provide around 80% of runoff in this system and the conservation of mid- to high-elevision forests types provides the greatest benefit in terms of water conservation.

Potential wildfire and carbon stability in frequent‐fire forests in the Sierra Nevada: trade‐offs from a long‐term study

Forests are the largest terrestrial carbon stock, and disturbance regimes can have large effects on the structure and function of forests. Many dry temperate forests in the western United States are

Restoring surface fire stabilizes forest carbon under extreme fire weather in the Sierra Nevada

Climate change in the western United States has increased the frequency of extreme fire weather events and is projected to increase the area burned by wildfire in the coming decades. This changing

Optimizing Forest Management Stabilizes Carbon Under Projected Climate and Wildfires

Forests provide a broad set of ecosystem services, including climate regulation. Other ecosystem services can be ecosystem dependent and are in part regulated by local‐scale decision‐making. In the

Large‐scale forest restoration stabilizes carbon under climate change in Southwest United States

This study uses data from a real‐world, large‐scale restoration project and indicates that restoration is likely to stabilize carbon and the benefits are greater when the pace of restoration is faster, compared to status quo and no‐harvest scenarios.

Assessing fire impacts on the carbon stability of fire-tolerant forests.

Five years after a large-scale wildfire in southeastern Australia, the impacts of low- and high-severity wildfire, with and without prescribed fire, on carbon stocks in multiple pools, and on carbon stability indicators are assessed, highlighting the need for active management of carbon assets in fire-tolerant eucalypt forests under contemporary fire regimes.

The effects of management on long‐term carbon stability in a southeastern U.S. forest matrix under extreme fire weather

How fire interacts with an ecosystem is driven by forest structure, fuel bed heterogeneity, topography, and weather. The juxtaposition of two distinct vegetation types with divergent properties can

Restoration Thinning in a Drought‐Prone Idaho Forest Creates a Persistent Carbon Deficit

Western US forests represent a carbon sink that contributes to meeting regional and global greenhouse gas targets. Forest thinning is being implemented as a strategy for reducing forest vulnerability

Forest Climate-driven changes in forest succession and the influence of management on forest carbon dynamics in the Puget Lowlands of Washington State, USA

Projecting the response of forests to changing climate requires understanding how biotic and abiotic con­ trols on tree growth will change over time. As temperature and interannual precipitation



Carbon Tradeoffs of Restoration and Provision of Endangered Species Habitat in a Fire-Maintained Forest

Forests are a significant part of the global carbon cycle and are increasingly viewed as tools for mitigating climate change. Natural disturbances, such as fire, can reduce carbon storage. However,

The carbon costs of mitigating high‐severity wildfire in southwestern ponderosa pine

If current aboveground forest carbon stocks in fire-excluded southwestern ponderosa pine forest are higher than prefire exclusion carbon stocks reconstructed from 1876, quantify the carbon costs of thinning treatments to reduce high-severity wildfire risk, and compare posttreatment carbon stocks with reconstructed 1876 carbon stocks are found.

Carbon and water fluxes from ponderosa pine forests disturbed by wildfire and thinning.

  • S. DoreT. Kolb A. Finkral
  • Environmental Science
    Ecological applications : a publication of the Ecological Society of America
  • 2010
The results show that thinned forests of ponderosa pine in the southwestern United States are a desirable alternative to intensively burned forests to maintain carbon stocks and primary production.

Wildfire and drought dynamics destabilize carbon stores of fire-suppressed forests.

Widespread fire suppression and thinning have altered the structure and composition of many forests in the western United States, making them more susceptible to the synergy of large-scale drought

Fuel treatment effects on tree‐based forest carbon storage and emissions under modeled wildfire scenarios

Forests are viewed as a potential sink for carbon (C) that might otherwise contribute to climate change. It is unclear, however, how to manage forests with frequent fire regimes to maximize C storage

Short- and Long-Term Effects of Fire on Carbon in US Dry Temperate Forest Systems

Forests sequester carbon from the atmosphere, and in so doing can mitigate the effects of climate change. Fire is a natural disturbance process in many forest systems that releases carbon back to the

Forest fuel reduction alters fire severity and long-term carbon storage in three Pacific Northwest ecosystems.

It is suggested that forest management plans aimed solely at ameliorating increases in atmospheric CO2 should forgo fuel reduction treatments in these ecosystems, with the possible exception of some east Cascades ponderosa pine stands with uncharacteristic levels of understory fuel accumulation.