Carbon stocks in managed conifer forests in northern Ontario, Canada
Carbon pools and net primary productivity (aboveground) were measured in managed stands of jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.) and black spruce (Picea mariana [Mill.] B.S.P.), ranging in age from 10 to 53 years, in the Lake Nipigon area of northern Ontario. Organic carbon in the forest floor and surface mineral soil (top 15 cm) ranged from 13 to 46 Mg C ha-1 and 10 to 29 Mg C ha-1, respectively. Carbon in aboveground tree biomass ranged from 11 to 74 Mg C ha-1 in crop trees, and 0 to 11 Mg C ha-1 in non-crop trees. Coarse woody debris (downed woody debris and snags) contained between 1 and 17 Mg C ha-1. Understory vegetation rarely represented more than 1% of total ecosystem carbon accumulation, but was responsible for a larger proportion of aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP). Rates of ANPP (expressed as carbon) ranged from 0.8 to 3.5 Mg C ha-1 y-1. Carbon stocks in managed stands were compared with published values from similarly aged fire-origin stands in the North American boreal region. Carbon stocks in our study stands generally exceeded those in unmanaged fire-origin stands of the same age, due to larger tree and forest floor carbon pools.
Received 25 June 2009 Accepted 9 September 2010 Published 31 December 2010