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Monday, April 9 • 5:30pm - 7:00pm
POSTER: Forest Fragmentation, Harvest and Carbon Storage Along a Regional Gradient: The Great Lakes Social-Ecological Gradient

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AUTHORS: William S. Currie*, Preeti Rao – School for Environment and Sustainability, University of Michigan

ABSTRACT: Social-ecological processes are coupled at a range of scales from households to the globe, but the regional scale is useful for analysis and synthesis because a region has a particular history, economics, set of land uses, natural resource uses and decision making. The US side of the Great Lakes region passed through the forest transition about 150 years ago, in which forest land was cleared for agriculture, then re-grew in many places as the region transitioned to a mixture of agriculture, human settlements, and managed second-growth forest. Today there is a strong north-south regional gradient in social-ecological systems. Northern areas have high forest cover, low forest fragmentation, and low human populations; the mid-region has high human populations and exurban development; and the southern end of the regional gradient has highly fragmented forest remnants in a predominantly agricultural matrix. We studied patterns of forest cover, fragmentation, harvest, and carbon storage in forests along this north-south gradient using USFS FIA data and analyzed their relationships to other social and ecological variables including MODIS NPP. We found that human appropriation of net primary productivity (HANPP) did not explain patterns of C storage in tree size classes and age classes in forests. However, we found that in the southern end of the regional gradient, where forests are more highly fragmented and the matrix is increasingly agricultural, forest aboveground carbon was increasingly stored in larger tree size classes and older age classes. Across this region, broadly speaking, forests are harvested more frequently in less-populated, northern areas where forest cover is higher and forest fragmentation is lower. Trees tend to be larger and older on the southern end of the gradient where human populations are higher and forest patches are smaller.

Monday April 9, 2018 5:30pm - 7:00pm CDT
Monroe Room

Attendees (2)