188.8.131.52 Forest management to increase stand- and landscape-level carbon density
Forest management activities to increase stand-level forest carbon stocks include harvest systems that maintain partial forest cover, minimize losses of dead organic matter (including slash) or soil carbon by reducing soil erosion, and by avoiding slash burning and other high-emission activities. Planting after harvest or natural disturbances accelerates tree growth and reduces carbon losses relative to natural regeneration. Economic considerations are typically the main constraint, because retaining additional carbon on site delays revenues from harvest. The potential benefits of carbon sequestration can be diminished where increased use of fertilizer causes greater N2O emissions. Drainage of forest soils, and specifically of peatlands, may lead to substantial carbon loss due to enhanced respiration (Ikkonen et al., 2001). Moderate drainage, however, can lead to increased peat carbon accumulation (Minkkinen et al., 2002).
Landscape-level carbon stock changes are the sum of stand-level changes, and the impacts of forest management on carbon stocks ultimately need to be evaluated at landscape level. Increasing harvest rotation lengths will increase some carbon pools (e.g., tree boles) and decrease others (e.g., harvested wood products (Kurz et al., 1998).