Selected Case Studies from the Americas
Edited by Mohammed H.I. Dore and Rubén Guevara
Chapter 3: Carbon storage in soils and vegetation among forested ecosystem types in northern Ontario
Mark Johnston and Peter Uhlig INTRODUCTION Carbon (C) storage has received increased attention as the reality of global warming is recognized (Houghton et al., 1996). Forests in northern latitudes are thought to play an important role in global C storage (Tans et al., 1990; Fan et al., 1998) and may be disproportionately affected as global warming intensiﬁes (Pastor and Post, 1988; Kirschbaum and Fischlin, 1996). The boreal forest is the world’s largest depository of C (Dixon et al., 1994), yet estimates of C storage for this biome are generally lacking. Botkin and Simpson (1990) and Kurz et al. (1992) presented C storage data for boreal forest regions, but these were for large, continent-wide areas. Some sitespeciﬁc estimates are available (for example, Halliwell et al., 1995; Nalder and Merriam, 1995), but knowledge of how C is distributed among ecosystem types within the boreal forest is generally poor. We present estimates of C storage in soils and vegetation among 11 ecosystem types in a 180 000 km2 area of northern Ontario that was intensively sampled during the development of the Ontario Forest Ecosystem Classiﬁcation (FEC) system (Sims et al., 1997). We compare these estimates with estimates of vegetative C storage for the same area taken from the most recent Forest Resource Inventory data for the Province of Ontario (Callaghan, 1993). METHODS Study Area and Sample Design The area sampled is shown in Figure 3.1. It spans most of the northwest portion of Ontario, extending from the Manitoba border in...
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