Large- scale restoration increases carbon stability under projected climate and wildfire regimes

Liang, S., M.D. Hurteau, A.L. Westerling

Publication Date:

Changing climate and increasing area burned pose a challenge to forest carbon (C) storage, which is compounded by an elevated risk of high- severity wildfire due to long- term fire suppression in the western US. Restoration treatments that reduce tree density and reintroduce surface fire are effective at moderating fire effects and may help build adaptive capacity to changing environmental conditions. Using model simulations, the authors quantified how large-scale restoration treatments in frequent- fire forest types would influence C outcomes in the Sierra Nevada mountain range under projected climate–wild–fire interactions. Their results indicate that large- scale restoration treatments are an effective means of reducing fire hazard and increasing C storage and stability under future climate and wildfire conditions. The effects of implementation timing suggest that accelerated implementation of large- scale restoration treatments may confer greater C- storage benefits, supporting California’s efforts to combat climate change.

Resource Type:
Peer-reviewed Article

Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment