Effects of management and naturaldisturbances on vegetation carbon     pools in mountain forests    Urs Gimmi, Annett Wolf...
BackgroundForests store 10-20 times more C in their biomassper area unit then all other land cover types (Olson           ...
General research aimReconstruct dynamics in forestvegetation carbon pools and quantifyeffect of natural and anthropogenicd...
Specific research aims• Reconstruct centennial time series for   – Forest dynamics (standing volume, species composition, ...
Forest history before 1900• Alptal was an important timber source for the city ofZurich since the 16th century (Bitterli 2...
Forest history before 1900  Gimmi et al. @ Global Change and the Worlds Mountains, Perth 2010
Forest Management PlansPlans contain three different perspectives:    (A) Past: Report on past forest use and        manag...
Results: Changes in standing volume                                                                     Av. volume per    ...
Results: Changes in species             composition                                       1925                1950        ...
Results: Disturbance history        45        40        35                    Only data for total removal        30       ...
Results: trajectories of forest           change  Gimmi et al. @ Global Change and the Worlds Mountains, Perth 2010
Calculating carbon pools                     Conversion Expansion                               C-content                 ...
Results:changes in vegetation carbon pools              225              200              175              150  tC * ha-1 ...
1925 -1950               1950 -1975   1975 -1999   1999 -2006 Timber         Naturalharvesting   disturbances      Veg    ...
Potential future C-accumulation• Forest expansion?→ limited / conflicts• Maximazing C-stocks?→ forest become more suscepti...
Conclusions• High rates of C-accumulation in the first 50 years  result from:  → management was able to compensate for  lo...
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Effects of management and natural disturbances on vegetation carbon pools in mountain forests [Urs Gimmi]

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Effects of management and natural disturbances on vegetation carbon pools in mountain forests. Presented by Urs Gimmi at the "Perth II: Global Change and the World's Mountains" conference in Perth, Scotland in September 2010.

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Effects of management and natural disturbances on vegetation carbon pools in mountain forests [Urs Gimmi]

  1. 1. Effects of management and naturaldisturbances on vegetation carbon pools in mountain forests Urs Gimmi, Annett Wolf, Matthias Bürgi, Marc Scherstjanoi, Harald Bugmann
  2. 2. BackgroundForests store 10-20 times more C in their biomassper area unit then all other land cover types (Olson et al. 1983)Natural disturbances and forest management affect carbon pools stored in forest vegetation and alter biogeochemical cycles (Houghton et al. 2000) – Effects are difficult to disentangle – Regional case studies based on detatiled historical evidence are valuable for in-depth analysis of disturbance effects on vegetation carbon pools Gimmi et al. @ Global Change and the Worlds Mountains, Perth 2010
  3. 3. General research aimReconstruct dynamics in forestvegetation carbon pools and quantifyeffect of natural and anthropogenicdisturbance over the past 100 yearsfor an alpine valley (Alptal) Gimmi et al. @ Global Change and the Worlds Mountains, Perth 2010
  4. 4. Specific research aims• Reconstruct centennial time series for – Forest dynamics (standing volume, species composition, growth increment etc.) – Anthropogenic and natural disturbances → vegetation carbon pools• Quantify relative contribution of managment and natural disturbances on dynamics in vegetation carbon pools• Assess C storage capacity of forests in the region and potential for future C-accumulation Gimmi et al. @ Global Change and the Worlds Mountains, Perth 2010
  5. 5. Forest history before 1900• Alptal was an important timber source for the city ofZurich since the 16th century (Bitterli 2004)• Large clearcuts until the late 19th century• Large-scale reforestation activities started in the1880s (Bitterli and Lienert 2007) Gimmi et al. @ Global Change and the Worlds Mountains, Perth 2010
  6. 6. Forest history before 1900 Gimmi et al. @ Global Change and the Worlds Mountains, Perth 2010
  7. 7. Forest Management PlansPlans contain three different perspectives: (A) Past: Report on past forest use and management (B) Present: Stand description, inventory (C) Future: PlanningAlptal• 9 owners/25 MPs between 1924-1983 &1999• 70% of the forested area• Annual records of timber harvesting and wood removal due to natural disturbances Gimmi et al. @ Global Change and the Worlds Mountains, Perth 2010
  8. 8. Results: Changes in standing volume Av. volume per tree increased from 0.7 to 0.9 m3 Larger diameter promoted by forest management Only slight increase in forest areaGimmi et al. 2009 Gimmi et al. @ Global Change and the Worlds Mountains, Perth 2010
  9. 9. Results: Changes in species composition 1925 1950 1975 1999Spruce (%) 76 80 78 75Fir (%) 17 14 16 18Beech (%) 7 6 6 7 30 25 20 deciduous trees 103 plants other conifers 15 Fir 10 Spruce 5 0 1906- 1916- 1926- 1936- 1946- 1956- 1966- 1976- 1986- 1996- 1915 1925 1935 1945 1955 1965 1975 1985 1995 2005 Gimmi et al. @ Global Change and the Worlds Mountains, Perth 2010
  10. 10. Results: Disturbance history 45 40 35 Only data for total removal 30 available 3 10 m 25 3 20 15 10 5 0 1905 1915 1925 1935 1945 1955 1965 1975 1985 1995 2005 wind throw bark beetle other disturbances timber harvest→Constant timber harvesting→Two major storm events (1990 & 1999) with subsequentbark beetle infestations Gimmi et al. @ Global Change and the Worlds Mountains, Perth 2010
  11. 11. Results: trajectories of forest change Gimmi et al. @ Global Change and the Worlds Mountains, Perth 2010
  12. 12. Calculating carbon pools Conversion Expansion C-content factor (ρ) factor (e)spruce & fir 0.4 1.48 0.5 beech 0.55 1.49 0.5Procedure for converting growing stock into vegetationcarbon stock→ IPCC standard methodology (Penman et al. 2003)→ applying species and region specific values (Thürig and Schmid 2008) Gimmi et al. @ Global Change and the Worlds Mountains, Perth 2010
  13. 13. Results:changes in vegetation carbon pools 225 200 175 150 tC * ha-1 125 100 75 50 25 0 Potential 1925 1950 1975 1999 Vegetation conifers deciduous treesGimmi et al. 2009 Gimmi et al. @ Global Change and the Worlds Mountains, Perth 2010
  14. 14. 1925 -1950 1950 -1975 1975 -1999 1999 -2006 Timber Naturalharvesting disturbances Veg C-pool 1925 Forest Treeexpansion growth
  15. 15. Potential future C-accumulation• Forest expansion?→ limited / conflicts• Maximazing C-stocks?→ forest become more susceptible to natural disturbances potential for further C-accumulation in forest vegetation is strongly limited Gimmi et al. @ Global Change and the Worlds Mountains, Perth 2010
  16. 16. Conclusions• High rates of C-accumulation in the first 50 years result from: → management was able to compensate for losses caused by previous unsustainable logging within a few decades.• Regional forests have limited potential for future C-accumulation• Regional-scale historical ecological studies provide reference conditions show ecosystemss historical range of variability (relevant for planning) Gimmi et al. @ Global Change and the Worlds Mountains, Perth 2010

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