You are here: Home
/ Publication Information
Title: Land use change effects on forest carbon cycling throughout the southern United States
Author: Woodbury, Peter B.; Heath, Linda S.; Smith, James E.
Source: Journal of Environmental Quality 35:1348-1363
Description: We modeled the effects of afforestation and deforestation on carbon cycling in forest floor and soil from 1900 to 2050 throughout 13 states in the southern United States. The model uses historical data on gross (two-way) transitions between forest, pasture, plowed agriculture, and urban lands along with equations describing changes in carbon over many decades for each type of land use change. Use of gross rather than net land use transition data is important because afforestation causes a gradual gain in carbon stocks for many decades, while deforestation causes a much more rapid loss in carbon stocks. In the South-Central region (Texas to Kentucky) land use changes caused a net emission of carbon before the 1980s, followed by a net sequestration of carbon subsequently. In the Southeast region (Florida to Virginia), there was net emission of carbon until the 1940s, again followed by net sequestration of carbon. These results could improve greenhouse gas inventories produced to meet reporting requirements under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Specically, from 1990 to 2004 for the entire 13-state study area, afforestation caused sequestration of 88 Tg C, and deforeststion caused emission of 49 Tg C. However, the net effect of land use change on carbon stocks in soil and forest floor from 1990 to 2004 was about sixfold smaller than the net change in carbon stocks in trees on all forestland. Thus land use change effects and forest carbon cycling during this period are dominated by changes in tree carbon stocks.
View or Print this Publication (3.0 MB)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
- This publication may be available in hard copy. Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact Sharon Hobrla, email@example.com if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
Woodbury, Peter B.; Heath, Linda S.; Smith, James E. 2006. Land use change effects on forest carbon cycling throughout the southern United States. Journal of Environmental Quality 35:1348-1363
Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility