Carbon Pools and Fluxes in Southern Appalachian Forests

An estimated 35 percent of the global terrestrial carbon is stored in soil and biotic carbon pools, such as forests. These pools can store or release carbon. Because forests store immense amounts of carbon, forest management is becoming part of efforts to increase carbon sequestration and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. Long-term research from the USDA…  More 

Translating National Forest Policies to Local Forest Management

The USDA Forest Service operates at the national, regional, and local levels and must account for a variety of constraints and considerations across its range. Therefore, national-level priorities may not always translate into local-scale management actions. One example of a Forest Service, National Forest System priority area is carbon sequestration. Carbon sequestration is the process…  More 

Into the Rhizosphere: Soil Fungi and Carbon Dynamics

Underneath the Earth’s surface, water, nutrients, and chemical signals are shuttled through a sprawling network between tree roots and soil fungi. “Many forest trees depend on their associated soil fungi for nutrients, as the fungi are better at absorbing nitrogen, phosphorous, and other nutrients,” says U.S. Forest Service ecologist Melanie Taylor. “The trees return the…  More 

More Benefits of Cool Mountain Air

In mountainous areas, cold air flows along the surface of the earth from mountain tops to valleys, and as it moves, it dramatically affects local temperatures. “Many ecosystem processes – including carbon uptake and storage – are affected by temperature,” says U.S. Forest Service research ecologist Chris Oishi. Oishi recently contributed to a study on how…  More 

Following Carbon’s Trail in Longleaf Pines

Once covering some 90 million acres in the South, longleaf pine forests were the largest temperate forest type in the United States, but have been in decline for decades because of land clearing for crops and pastures, logging, and other land use changes. Longleaf pine ecosystems are some of the most diverse in the nation;…  More