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Working Paper 35: Carbon Cycling in Southwestern Forests: Reservoirs, Fluxes, and the Effects of Fire and Management

Swetnam, T.L. and Falk, D.A. (2015) Working Paper 35: Carbon Cycling in Southwestern Forests: Reservoirs, Fluxes, and the Effects of Fire and Management. Working Paper. Ecological Restoration Institute/ Southwest Fire Science Consortium, Flagstaff, United States.

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Forests play a key role in regulating the carbon cycle of the Earth system. Understanding carbon storage in forest ecosystems has become increasingly important as human activities release more carbon dioxide (CO2) into the Earth’s atmosphere. The intent of this working paper is to explain the basics of the carbon cycle detailing how much carbon moves through vegetation, water, and soils over time. The paper also summarizes where current science suggests that carbon cycling patterns are most likely to change in the coming years to decades, and how management can influence these changes. Water (H2O) and atmospheric gases, particularly carbon dioxide, interact with living things, soils and rock to regulate natural habitats and sustain ecosystems (NRC 2001). The capacity of landscapes to transfer (“flux”) and store (“sequester”) elemental carbon has a direct effect on atmospheric concentrations of CO2 with further feedbacks on the water and nitrogen cycles. In the literature, carbon contained in vegetation and soils is typically referred to as “reservoirs” or “pools” (Post et al. 1990, Schimel 1995, Cole et al. 2007).

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Keywords: Ecological Restoration Institute, Southwest Fire Science Consortium, Working Paper, ERI Library
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
S Agriculture > SD Forestry
Department/Unit: Research Centers > Ecological Restoration Institute
Date Deposited: 26 Jan 2016 19:29
URI: http://openknowledge.nau.edu/id/eprint/2293

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