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 

Mangroves of Mozambique

Whether small and shrubby or tall and majestic, mangroves have an unusual ability – they are specially adapted to grow in brackish water, and can tolerate ocean waves lapping at their stilt-like roots. As stands mature, soil and decaying plant matter becomes captured in the intricate web of their roots. “The soil in mangrove ecosystems…  More 

Earthworms, Millipedes, and Soil Carbon in the Eastern U.S.

Ubiquitous in the southeastern U.S., native earthworms are absent from the northern part of the country. It wasn’t always so, but tens of thousands of years ago glaciers crept across the land, and earthworms below them froze to death. Because earthworms are slow travelers, they have not naturally recolonized the areas where glaciers were present.…  More 

How does intensive forest management affect global carbon storage?

A growing world population demands more wood and fiber, much of which is harvested from intensively managed forests. In these forests, tree growth as well as post-harvest land cover changes can be easy to see, but an invisible part of the management process has captured the attention of scientists and university collaborators with the U.S.…  More 

Release of Below-Ground Carbon by Root-Soil Interactions

Chris Oishi, research ecologist at the Forest Service Coweeta Hydological Laboratory, recently worked with scientists from Indiana University and Princeton University to develop a new tool to model the sensitivity of soil organic carbon to changing environmental conditions, an area that has represented a critical uncertainty in climate change modeling. The research was published in…  More 

Carbon In, Carbon Out

Look around at all the wood and paper products we consider essential for daily life. Now, consider the carbon stored in those products—carbon that was removed from a forest ecosystem when trees were harvested. This type of carbon storage is quite important: while it’s locked into these products throughout their useful life, this carbon is…  More