OOS 32-2 - Attributes of dead wood carbon stocks across forests of the U.S.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012: 1:50 PM
B113, Oregon Convention Center
Christopher W. Woodall, Northern Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Saint Paul, MN, Grant M. Domke, USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station, St. Paul, MN and James E. Smith, US Forest Service, Northern Research Station, Durham, NH

As signatories to the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change, the US has been estimating standing and down dead tree carbon (C) stocks using a model based on live tree attributes.  The USDA Forest Service began sampling forest detrital components nation-wide in 1999.  With comprehensive field data now available, the objective of this study was to compare field- and model-based estimates of forest dead wood C stocks across the US to refine national C stock estimates and improve the understanding of C dynamics. 


Field inventory data indicated that most forests have relatively little standing dead tree C stocks (< 1 Mg/ha), whereas large C stocks (> 25 Mg/ha) are infrequent.  Models used for past NGHGIs to predict forest dead wood C stocks may not accurately reflect what was observed in inventory plots, resulting in an overestimation of dead wood C stocks at the national-scale.  A field-based approach is suggested for use in future C reporting efforts to reduce estimation bias.