Site: Andrews Forest LTER

Credit: AND LTER

Old-growth forest-stream ecosystems store enormous amounts of carbon. Andrews LTER researchers found that forest biomass accumulated at relatively linear rates over a century – counter to theoretical predictions that biomass accumulation would slow during forest succession. They also found that climate change related mortality at Andrews is low compared to other forests in the western U.S. and that forest harvest reduced stream dissolved organic carbon flux for over 50 years. According to predictions, valleys may be buffered from increasing temperature, but a warming climate could also push old-growth forests to become net carbon emitters.