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Effects of forest fire on carbon storage



Ecosystem Informatics


Oregon State University
(Corvallis, OR)


Julia Jones

Research Achievements

Effects of forest fire on carbon storage

Trainee Stephen Mitchell defended his PhD in Forest Science, a set of studies of the effects of forest fire on carbon storage. He showed that forest thinning practices, currently being implemented in many western forests to reduce fire occurrence, do alter fire severity, but they also may result in a net decrease in carbon storage. This finding is unexpected and important for public land managers. Stephen showed that commonly used models for predicting the exchange of carbon dioxide between forests and the atmosphere are subject to large sources of uncertainty. Mitchell S.M., Harmon M.E., & O'connell K.E.B. 2009. Forest fuel reduction alters fire severity and long-term carbon storage in three Pacific Northwest ecosystems. Ecological Applications. 19:3, 643-655; Mitchell, Stephen R; Keith J Beven; Jim E Freer. 2008. Multiple sources of predictive uncertainty in modeled estimates of net ecosystem CO2 exchange. Ecological Modelling in press.