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Keywords:

  • Carbon sequestration;
  • forest management;
  • forest soil;
  • Kyoto Protocol;
  • soil organic carbon

Abstract

Forest management and climate change may have a substantial impact on future soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks at the country scale. Potential SOC in Japanese forest soils was regionally estimated under nine forest managements and a climate change scenario using the CENTURY ecosystem model. Three rotations (30, 50, 100 yr) and three thinning regimes were tested: no-thinning; 30% of the trees cut in the middle of the rotation (e.g. 15 year in a 30-yr rotation) and thinned trees all left as litter or slash (ThinLef) and the trees from thinning removed from the forest (ThinRem). A climate change scenario was tested (ca. 3 °C increase in air temperature and 9% increase in precipitation). The model was run at 1 km resolution using climate, vegetation and soil databases. The estimated SOC stock ranged from 1600 to 1830 TgC (from 6800 to 7800 gC/m2), and the SOC stock was largest with the longest rotation and was largest under ThinLef with all three rotations. Despite an increase in net primary production, the SOC stock decreased by 5% under the climate change scenario.