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Title: Reforestation can sequester two petagrams of carbon in US topsoils in a century

Abstract

Soils are Earth’s largest terrestrial carbon (C) pool, and their responsiveness to land use and management make them appealing targets for strategies to enhance C sequestration. Numerous studies have identified practices that increase soil C, but their inferences are often based on limited data extrapolated over large areas. Here in this paper, we combine 15,000 observations from two national-level databases with remote sensing information to address the impacts of reforestation on the sequestration of C in topsoils (uppermost mineral soil horizons). We quantify C stocks in cultivated, reforesting, and natural forest topsoils; rates of C accumulation in reforesting topsoils; and their contribution to the US forest C sink. Our results indicate that reforestation increases topsoil C storage, and that reforesting lands, currently occupying >500,000 km 2 in the United States, will sequester a cumulative 1.3–2.1 Pg C within a century (13–21 Tg C·y -1). Annually, these C gains constitute 10% of the US forest sector C sink and offset 1% of all US greenhouse gas emission

Authors:
 [1]; ORCiD logo [2];  [3];  [4];  [5]; ORCiD logo [2];  [6]
  1. Univ. of Michigan, Pellston, MI (United States). Biological Station; Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (United States). Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  2. US Dept. of Agriculture-Forest Service (USDA)., St. Paul, MN (United States). Northern Research Station
  3. Univ. of Michigan, Pellston, MI (United States). Biological Station; Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY (United States). Baker Lab., Dept. of Natural Resources
  4. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States). Environmental Science Division
  5. S Dept. of Agriculture-Forest Service (USDA)., St. Paul, MN (United States). Northern Research Station
  6. US Dept. of Agriculture-Forest Service (USDA)., Houghton, MI (United States). Northern Research Station
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC); USDA. Forest Service - Northern Research Station
OSTI Identifier:
1429070
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-06CH11357
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 115; Journal Issue: 11; Journal ID: ISSN 0027-8424
Publisher:
National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; greenhouse gas; land use change; soil organic carbon

Citation Formats

Nave, Lucas E., Domke, Grant M., Hofmeister, Kathryn L., Mishra, Umakant, Perry, Charles H., Walters, Brian F., and Swanston, Christopher W. Reforestation can sequester two petagrams of carbon in US topsoils in a century. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1073/pnas.1719685115.
Nave, Lucas E., Domke, Grant M., Hofmeister, Kathryn L., Mishra, Umakant, Perry, Charles H., Walters, Brian F., & Swanston, Christopher W. Reforestation can sequester two petagrams of carbon in US topsoils in a century. United States. doi:10.1073/pnas.1719685115.
Nave, Lucas E., Domke, Grant M., Hofmeister, Kathryn L., Mishra, Umakant, Perry, Charles H., Walters, Brian F., and Swanston, Christopher W. Mon . "Reforestation can sequester two petagrams of carbon in US topsoils in a century". United States. doi:10.1073/pnas.1719685115. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1429070.
@article{osti_1429070,
title = {Reforestation can sequester two petagrams of carbon in US topsoils in a century},
author = {Nave, Lucas E. and Domke, Grant M. and Hofmeister, Kathryn L. and Mishra, Umakant and Perry, Charles H. and Walters, Brian F. and Swanston, Christopher W.},
abstractNote = {Soils are Earth’s largest terrestrial carbon (C) pool, and their responsiveness to land use and management make them appealing targets for strategies to enhance C sequestration. Numerous studies have identified practices that increase soil C, but their inferences are often based on limited data extrapolated over large areas. Here in this paper, we combine 15,000 observations from two national-level databases with remote sensing information to address the impacts of reforestation on the sequestration of C in topsoils (uppermost mineral soil horizons). We quantify C stocks in cultivated, reforesting, and natural forest topsoils; rates of C accumulation in reforesting topsoils; and their contribution to the US forest C sink. Our results indicate that reforestation increases topsoil C storage, and that reforesting lands, currently occupying >500,000 km2 in the United States, will sequester a cumulative 1.3–2.1 Pg C within a century (13–21 Tg C·y-1). Annually, these C gains constitute 10% of the US forest sector C sink and offset 1% of all US greenhouse gas emission},
doi = {10.1073/pnas.1719685115},
journal = {Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America},
number = 11,
volume = 115,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {2}
}

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Works referenced in this record:

Change in soil carbon following afforestation
journal, September 2002

  • Paul, K. I.; Polglase, P. J.; Nyakuengama, J. G.
  • Forest Ecology and Management, Vol. 168, Issue 1-3, p. 241-257
  • DOI: 10.1016/S0378-1127(01)00740-X