Fire, harvest, and their spatial interactions are likely to affect boreal forest carbon stocks. Repeated disturbances associated with short fire return intervals and harvest rotations resulted in landscapes with a higher proportion of young stands that store less carbon than mature stands.
Context Boreal forests represent about one third of forest area and one third of forest carbon stocks on the Earth. Carbon stocks of boreal forests are sensitive to climate change, natural disturbances, and human activities.
Aims The objectives of this study were to evaluate the effects of fire, harvest, and their spatial interactions on boreal forest carbon stocks of northeastern China.
Methods We used a coupled forest landscape model (LANDIS PRO) and a forest ecosystem model (LINKAGES) framework to simulate the landscape-level effects of fire, harvest, and their spatial interactions over 150 years.
Results Our simulation suggested that aboveground carbon and soil organic carbon are significantly reduced by fire and harvest over the whole simulation period. The long-term effects of fire and harvest on carbon stocks were greater than the short-term effects. The combined effects of fire and harvest on carbon stocks are less than the sum of the separate effects of fire and harvest. The response of carbon stocks was impacted by the spatial variability of fire and harvest regimes.
Conclusion These results emphasize that the spatial interactions of fire and harvest play an important role in regulating boreal forest carbon stocks.
Fire, Harvest, Carbon stocks, LANDIS PRO, LINKAGES, Model coupling
Huang, C., He, H.S., Liang, Y. et al. Annals of Forest Science (2018) 75: 42.
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