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Title: Carbon sequestration and biodiversity co-benefits of preserving forests in the western United States

Abstract

Forest carbon sequestration via forest preservation can be a viable climate change mitigation strategy. Here, we identify forests in the western conterminous United States with high potential carbon sequestration and low vulnerability to future drought and fire, as simulated using the Community Land Model and two high carbon emission scenario (RCP 8.5) climate models. High-productivity, low-vulnerability forests have the potential to sequester up to 5,450 Tg CO2 equivalent (1,485 Tg C) by 2099, which is up to 20% of the global mitigation potential previously identified for all temperate and boreal forests, or up to ~6 yr of current regional fossil fuel emissions. Additionally, these forests currently have high above- and belowground carbon density, high tree species richness, and a high proportion of critical habitat for endangered vertebrate species, indicating a strong potential to support biodiversity into the future and promote ecosystem resilience to climate change. We stress that some forest lands have low carbon sequestration potential but high biodiversity, underscoring the need to consider multiple criteria when designing a land preservation portfolio. Our work demonstrates how process models and ecological criteria can be used to prioritize landscape preservation for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and preserving biodiversity in a rapidly changingmore » climate.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]
  1. Oregon State Univ., Corvallis, OR (United States). Dept. of Forest Ecosystems and Society
  2. EcoSpatial Services L.L.C., Flagstaff Arizona (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oregon State Univ., Corvallis, OR (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1623528
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0012194; USDA [2013-67003-20652, 2014-67003-22065, 2014-35100-22066]
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Ecological Applications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 30; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 1051-0761
Publisher:
Ecological Society of America
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Environmental Sciences & Ecology; biodiversity; carbon sequestration; climate change; Community Land Model (CLM); forest; mitigation; process modeling; western United States

Citation Formats

Buotte, Polly C., Law, Beverly E., Ripple, William J., and Berner, Logan T.. Carbon sequestration and biodiversity co-benefits of preserving forests in the western United States. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. https://doi.org/10.1002/eap.2039.
Buotte, Polly C., Law, Beverly E., Ripple, William J., & Berner, Logan T.. Carbon sequestration and biodiversity co-benefits of preserving forests in the western United States. United States. https://doi.org/10.1002/eap.2039
Buotte, Polly C., Law, Beverly E., Ripple, William J., and Berner, Logan T.. Fri . "Carbon sequestration and biodiversity co-benefits of preserving forests in the western United States". United States. https://doi.org/10.1002/eap.2039. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1623528.
@article{osti_1623528,
title = {Carbon sequestration and biodiversity co-benefits of preserving forests in the western United States},
author = {Buotte, Polly C. and Law, Beverly E. and Ripple, William J. and Berner, Logan T.},
abstractNote = {Forest carbon sequestration via forest preservation can be a viable climate change mitigation strategy. Here, we identify forests in the western conterminous United States with high potential carbon sequestration and low vulnerability to future drought and fire, as simulated using the Community Land Model and two high carbon emission scenario (RCP 8.5) climate models. High-productivity, low-vulnerability forests have the potential to sequester up to 5,450 Tg CO2 equivalent (1,485 Tg C) by 2099, which is up to 20% of the global mitigation potential previously identified for all temperate and boreal forests, or up to ~6 yr of current regional fossil fuel emissions. Additionally, these forests currently have high above- and belowground carbon density, high tree species richness, and a high proportion of critical habitat for endangered vertebrate species, indicating a strong potential to support biodiversity into the future and promote ecosystem resilience to climate change. We stress that some forest lands have low carbon sequestration potential but high biodiversity, underscoring the need to consider multiple criteria when designing a land preservation portfolio. Our work demonstrates how process models and ecological criteria can be used to prioritize landscape preservation for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and preserving biodiversity in a rapidly changing climate.},
doi = {10.1002/eap.2039},
journal = {Ecological Applications},
number = 2,
volume = 30,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {12}
}

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