- Carbon sequestration
- Climate change
- Forest vegetation simulator
- General circulation model
- Growth and yield
Forest resources supply a wide range of environmental services like mitigation of increasing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). As climate is changing, forest managers have added pressure to obtain forest resources by following stand management alternatives that are biologically sustainable and economically profitable. The goal of this study is to project the effect of typical forest management actions on forest C levels, given a changing climate, in the Moscow Mountain area of north-central Idaho, USA. Harvest and prescribed fire management treatments followed by plantings of one of four regionally important commercial tree species were simulated, using the climate-sensitive version of the Forest Vegetation Simulator, to estimate the biomass of four different planted species and their C sequestration response to three climate change scenarios.
Results show that anticipated climate change induces a substantial decrease in C sequestration potential regardless of which of the four tree species tested are planted. It was also found that Pinus monticola has the highest capacity to sequester C by 2110, followed by Pinus ponderosa, then Pseudotsuga menziesii, and lastly Larix occidentalis.
Variability in the growth responses to climate change exhibited by the four planted species considered in this study points to the importance to forest managers of considering how well adapted seedlings may be to predicted climate change, before the seedlings are planted, and particularly if maximizing C sequestration is the management goal.