LTREB Biomass and Forest Complexity Data


Trajectories of aboveground tree biomass accumulation and the development of forest complexity were investigated and compared between two long-term forest chronosequences of stands at the University of Michigan Biological Station (UMBS) categorized as moderately or severely disturbed. The stands experienced either cut or cut and burn disturbances over the course of the past century. Diameter at breast height, crown class, tree location, and species identification were used to characterize the stands and assess biomass accumulation. Saplings (DBH < 8.0 cm) were also counted by species, noted as living or dead, and categorized by DBH. Aboveground biomass was determined for each plot using allometric equations based on DBH measurements, and biomass accumulation over time, canopy species frequency, species diversity, and spatial and crown class distributions were compared between the chronosequences. Although there was no difference between biomass or biodiversity accumulation curves between the moderate and severe disturbance chronosequences, differences in species composition and crown class distributions indicate that disturbance severity does influence successional patterns. The results of this study demonstrate the continued importance of these forests as a part of the North American carbon sink and suggest that the successional stage of forest development would be an important factor to consider to increase the accuracy of models predicting the future capacity of this sink.

Core Areas: