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Influence of forest management activities on soil organic carbon stocks: A knowledge synthesis

Mayer Mathias, Prescott Cindy, Abaker Wafa E.A., Augusto Laurent, Cécillon Lauric, Ferreira Gabriel W.D., James Jason, Jandl Robert, Katzensteiner Klaus, Laclau Jean-Paul, Laganière Jérôme, Nouvellon Yann, Paré David, Stanturf John A., Vanguelova Elena I., Vesterdal Lars. 2020. Influence of forest management activities on soil organic carbon stocks: A knowledge synthesis. Forest Ecology and Management, 466:118127, 25 p.

Journal article ; Article de synthèse ; Article de revue à facteur d'impact
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Abstract : Almost half of the total organic carbon (C) in terrestrial ecosystems is stored in forest soils. By altering rates of input or release of C from soils, forest management activities can influence soil C stocks in forests. In this review, we synthesize current evidence regarding the influences of 13 common forest management practices on forest soil C stocks. Afforestation of former croplands generally increases soil C stocks, whereas on former grasslands and peatlands, soil C stocks are unchanged or even reduced following afforestation. The conversion of primary forests to secondary forests generally reduces soil C stocks, particularly if the land is converted to an agricultural land-use prior to reforestation. Harvesting, particularly clear-cut harvesting, generally results in a reduction in soil C stocks, particularly in the forest floor and upper mineral soil. Removal of residues by harvesting whole-trees and stumps negatively affects soil C stocks. Soil disturbance from site preparation decreases soil C stocks, particularly in the organic top soil, however improved growth of tree seedlings may outweigh soil C losses over a rotation. Nitrogen (N) addition has an overall positive effect on soil C stocks across a wide range of forest ecosystems. Likewise, higher stocks and faster accumulation of soil C occur under tree species with N-fixing associates. Stocks and accumulation rates of soil C also differ under different tree species, with coniferous species accumulating more C in the forest floor and broadleaved species tending to store more C in the mineral soil. There is some evidence that increased tree species diversity could positively affect soil C stocks in temperate and subtropical forests, but tree species identity, particularly N-fixing species, seems to have a stronger impact on soil C stocks than tree species diversity. Management of stand density and thinning have small effects on forest soil C stocks. In forests with high populations of ungulate herbivores, reduction in herbivory levels can increase soil C stocks. Removal of plant biomass for fodder and fuel is related to a reduction in the soil C stocks. Fire management practices such as prescribed burning reduce soil C stocks, but less so than wildfires which are more intense. For each practice, we identify existing gaps in knowledge and suggest research to address the gaps.

Mots-clés Agrovoc : Foresterie, Sylviculture, Opération forestière, Matière organique du sol, Couvert forestier, Carbone organique total

Mots-clés libres : Soil carbon, Soil carbon sequestration, Forest, Sylvicultural practices, Afforestation, Harvesting, Harvest residues, Soil disturbance, Fertilization, Fire managment, N-fixing species, Tree species diversity, Management of stand density and thinning, Plantation

Classification Agris : K10 - Forestry production

Champ stratégique Cirad : CTS 2 (2019-) - Transitions agroécologiques

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Mayer Mathias, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (AUT) - auteur correspondant
  • Prescott Cindy, University of British Columbia (CAN)
  • Abaker Wafa E.A., University of Khartoum (SDN)
  • Augusto Laurent, INRAE (FRA)
  • Cécillon Lauric, Université de Normandie (FRA)
  • Ferreira Gabriel W.D., University of Georgia (USA)
  • James Jason, Exponent (USA)
  • Jandl Robert, Austrian Research Center for Forests (AUT)
  • Katzensteiner Klaus, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (AUT)
  • Laclau Jean-Paul, CIRAD-DG-Direction générale (FRA) ORCID: 0000-0002-2506-214X
  • Laganière Jérôme, Natural Resources Canada (CAN)
  • Nouvellon Yann, CIRAD-PERSYST-UMR Eco&Sols (THA)
  • Paré David, Natural Resources Canada (CAN)
  • Stanturf John A., Estonian University of Life Sciences (EST)
  • Vanguelova Elena I., Forest Research (GBR)
  • Vesterdal Lars, University of Copenhagen (DNK)

Source : Cirad-Agritrop (https://agritrop.cirad.fr/595481/)

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