Can fuel-reduction treatments really increase forest carbon storage in the western US by reducing future fire emissions? Public Deposited

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  • It has been suggested that thinning trees and other fuel-reduction practices aimed at reducing the probability of high-severity forest fire are consistent with efforts to keep carbon (C) sequestered in terrestrial pools, and that such practices should therefore be rewarded rather than penalized in C-accounting schemes. By evaluating how fuel treatments, wildfire, and their interactions affect forest C stocks across a wide range of spatial and temporal scales, we conclude that this is extremely unlikely. Our review reveals high C losses associated with fuel treatment, only modest differences in the combustive losses associated with high-severity fire and the low-severity fire that fuel treatment is meant to encourage, and a low likelihood that treated forests will be exposed to fire. Although fuel-reduction treatments may be necessary to restore historical functionality to fire- suppressed ecosystems, we found little credible evidence that such efforts have the added benefit of increasing terrestrial C stocks.
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  • John L Campbell, Mark E Harmon, and Stephen R Mitchell. 2011. Can fuel-reduction treatments really increase forest carbon storage in the western US by reducing future fire emissions? Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment (e-View) doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/110057
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Sue Kunda(sue.kunda@oregonstate.edu) on 2011-12-16T22:45:14Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 CampbellJohn.Forestry.CanFuelReductionTreatments.pdf: 516898 bytes, checksum: 35e3ec271df67eed7f84d02544fcb7ab (MD5)
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  • description.provenance : Submitted by Sue Kunda (sue.kunda@oregonstate.edu) on 2011-12-16T22:44:45Z No. of bitstreams: 1 CampbellJohn.Forestry.CanFuelReductionTreatments.pdf: 516898 bytes, checksum: 35e3ec271df67eed7f84d02544fcb7ab (MD5)

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