Modeling the impacts of climate variability and hurricane on carbon sequestration in a coastal forested wetland in South Carolina

Abstract

The impacts of hurricane disturbance and climate variability on carbon dynamics in a coastal forested wetland in South Carolina of USA were simulated using the Forest-DNDC model with a spatially explicit approach. The model was validated using the measured biomass before and after Hurricane Hugo and the biomass inventories in 2006 and 2007, showed that the Forest-DNDC model was applicable for estimating carbon dynamics with hurricane disturbance. The simulated results indicated that Hurricane Hugo in 1989 substantially influenced carbon storage immediately after the disturbance event. The simulated net ecosystem exchange (NEE) for the 58-year period (1950-2007) indicated that the hurricane reduced CO2 sequestration due primarily to the increased decomposition of a large amount of litter and woody debris, including fallen trees (over 80% of pre-hurricane trees), debris and branches, and dead roots. The inter-annual fluctuation of soil CO2 flux showed that the climate variability interfered substantially soil carbon dynamics in the forest. The results showed that there were substantial spatial and temporal differences in CO2 flux (3.2 - 4.8 Mg·C·ha−1) and wood biomass due to the differences in physical and biogeochemical characteristics in the forest.

  • Citation: Dai, Zhaohua; Trettin, Carl C.; Li, Changsheng; Sun, Ge; Amatya, Devendra M.; Li, Harbin 2013. Modeling the impacts of climate variability and hurricane on carbon sequestration in a coastal forested wetland in South Carolina. Natural Science 5(3):375-388.

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