EPA Science Inventory

ABOVEGROUND BIOMASS DISTRIBUTION OF US EASTERN HARDWOOD FORESTS AND THE USE OF LARGE TREES AS AN INDICATOR OF FOREST DEVELOPMENT

Contact
PAUL R SCHROEDER
phone: 601-634-3709
email: SCHROEP@EX1.WES.ARMY.MIL


Contact
SANDRA BROWN
email: BROWN.SANDRA@epa.gov


Citation:

Brown, S., P. Schroeder, AND R. Birdsey. ABOVEGROUND BIOMASS DISTRIBUTION OF US EASTERN HARDWOOD FORESTS AND THE USE OF LARGE TREES AS AN INDICATOR OF FOREST DEVELOPMENT. Forest Ecology and Management 96(1-2):37-47, (1997).

Description:

Past clearing and harvesting of the deciduous hardwood forests of eastern USA released large amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, but through recovery and regrowth these forests are now accumulating atmospheric carbon (C). This study examined quantities and distribution of aboveground biomass density (AGBD, Mg ha-1) of US eastern hardwood forests and assessed their biological potential for continued biomass accumulation in the future. Studies have shown that the presence of a large proportion of the AGBD of moist tropical forests in large diameter trees (gt 70 cm diameter) is indicative of mature and undisturbed conditions. This relationship was tested as a criterion for the eastern US deciduous forests to assess their stage of recovery and maturity, and evaluate their potential for continued C storage. The approach was to compare AGBD and its distribution in large trees for old-growth forests derived from published studies and for oak-hickory and maple-beech-birch forests using the extensive US Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) data base. Old-growth forests generally had AGBD of 220-260 Mg ha-1 with up to 30% in trees with diameter gt 70 cm. In contrast, maximum AGBD for the FIA units was about 175-185 Mg ha-1 with 8%-10% in large trees. Most units, however, were from past disturbance. Biologically, therefore, they have the potential to accumulate significant quantities of additional biomass, if left unharvested, and thus storing atmospheric C into the future.

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Start Date: 01/01/1997
Completion Date: 01/01/1997
Record Last Revised: 12/22/2005
Record Created: 08/18/1999
Record Released: 08/18/1999
Record ID: 10357

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT