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Drivers of carbon stocks in forest edges across Europe

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Abstract
Forests play a key role in global carbon cycling and sequestration. However, the potential for carbon drawdown is affected by forest fragmentation and resulting changes in microclimate, nutrient inputs, disturbance and productivity near edges. Up to 20% of the global forested area lies within 100 m of an edge and, even in temperate forests, knowledge on how edge conditions affect carbon stocks and how far this influence penetrates into forest interiors is scarce. Here we studied carbon stocks in the aboveground biomass, forest floor and the mineral topsoil in 225 plots in deciduous forest edges across Europe and tested the impact of macroclimate, nitrogen deposition and smaller-grained drivers (e.g. microclimate) on these stocks. Total carbon and carbon in the aboveground biomass stock were on average 39% and 95% higher at the forest edge than 100 m into the interior. The increase in the aboveground biomass stock close to the edge was mainly related to enhanced nitrogen deposition. No edge influence was found for stocks in the mineral topsoil. Edge-to-interior gradients in forest floor carbon changed across latitude: carbon stocks in the forest floor were higher near the edge in southern Europe. Forest floor carbon decreased with increasing litter quality (i.e. high decomposition rate) and decreasing plant area index, whereas higher soil temperatures negatively affected the mineral topsoil carbon. Based on high-resolution forest fragmentation maps, we estimate that the additional carbon stored in deciduous forest edges across Europe amounts to not less than 183 Tg carbon, which is equivalent to the storage capacity of 1 million ha of additional forest. This study underpins the importance of including edge influences when quantifying the carbon stocks in temperate forests and stresses the importance of preserving natural forest edges and small forest patches with a high edge-to-interior surface area.
Keywords
Aboveground biomass carbon, Edge influence, Fragmentation, Latitudinal gradient, Microclimate, Temperate deciduous forests, SOIL ORGANIC-CARBON, LEAF-AREA INDEX, NITROGEN DEPOSITION, TEMPERATE FORESTS, DRIVING FACTORS, MICROCLIMATE, STORAGE, MANAGEMENT, CLIMATE, BIOMASS

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MLA
Meeussen, Camille, et al. “Drivers of Carbon Stocks in Forest Edges across Europe.” SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT, vol. 759, 2021, doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.143497.
APA
Meeussen, C., Govaert, S., Vanneste, T., Haesen, S., Van Meerbeek, K., Bollmann, K., … De Frenne, P. (2021). Drivers of carbon stocks in forest edges across Europe. SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT, 759. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.143497
Chicago author-date
Meeussen, Camille, Sanne Govaert, Thomas Vanneste, Stef Haesen, Koenraad Van Meerbeek, Kurt Bollmann, Jörg Brunet, et al. 2021. “Drivers of Carbon Stocks in Forest Edges across Europe.” SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT 759. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.143497.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Meeussen, Camille, Sanne Govaert, Thomas Vanneste, Stef Haesen, Koenraad Van Meerbeek, Kurt Bollmann, Jörg Brunet, Kim Calders, Sara Cousins, Martin Diekmann, Bente Graae, Giovanni Iacopetti, Jonathan Lenoir, Anna Orczewska, Quentin Ponette, Jan Plue, Federico Selvi, Fabien Spicher, Mia Vedel Sørensen, Hans Verbeeck, Pieter Vermeir, Kris Verheyen, Pieter Vangansbeke, and Pieter De Frenne. 2021. “Drivers of Carbon Stocks in Forest Edges across Europe.” SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT 759. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.143497.
Vancouver
1.
Meeussen C, Govaert S, Vanneste T, Haesen S, Van Meerbeek K, Bollmann K, et al. Drivers of carbon stocks in forest edges across Europe. SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT. 2021;759.
IEEE
[1]
C. Meeussen et al., “Drivers of carbon stocks in forest edges across Europe,” SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT, vol. 759, 2021.
@article{8681831,
  abstract     = {{Forests play a key role in global carbon cycling and sequestration. However, the potential for carbon drawdown is affected by forest fragmentation and resulting changes in microclimate, nutrient inputs, disturbance and productivity near edges. Up to 20% of the global forested area lies within 100 m of an edge and, even in temperate forests, knowledge on how edge conditions affect carbon stocks and how far this influence penetrates into forest interiors is scarce. Here we studied carbon stocks in the aboveground biomass, forest floor and the mineral topsoil in 225 plots in deciduous forest edges across Europe and tested the impact of macroclimate, nitrogen deposition and smaller-grained drivers (e.g. microclimate) on these stocks. Total carbon and carbon in the aboveground biomass stock were on average 39% and 95% higher at the forest edge than 100 m into the interior. The increase in the aboveground biomass stock close to the edge was mainly related to enhanced nitrogen deposition. No edge influence was found for stocks in the mineral topsoil. Edge-to-interior gradients in forest floor carbon changed across latitude: carbon stocks in the forest floor were higher near the edge in southern Europe. Forest floor carbon decreased with increasing litter quality (i.e. high decomposition rate) and decreasing plant area index, whereas higher soil temperatures negatively affected the mineral topsoil carbon. Based on high-resolution forest fragmentation maps, we estimate that the additional carbon stored in deciduous forest edges across Europe amounts to not less than 183 Tg carbon, which is equivalent to the storage capacity of 1 million ha of additional forest. This study underpins the importance of including edge influences when quantifying the carbon stocks in temperate forests and stresses the importance of preserving natural forest edges and small forest patches with a high edge-to-interior surface area.}},
  articleno    = {{143497}},
  author       = {{Meeussen, Camille and Govaert, Sanne and Vanneste, Thomas and Haesen, Stef and Van Meerbeek, Koenraad and Bollmann, Kurt and Brunet, Jörg and Calders, Kim and Cousins, Sara and Diekmann, Martin and Graae, Bente and Iacopetti, Giovanni and Lenoir, Jonathan and Orczewska, Anna and Ponette, Quentin and Plue, Jan and Selvi, Federico and Spicher, Fabien and Sørensen, Mia Vedel and Verbeeck, Hans and Vermeir, Pieter and Verheyen, Kris and Vangansbeke, Pieter and De Frenne, Pieter}},
  issn         = {{0048-9697}},
  journal      = {{SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT}},
  keywords     = {{Aboveground biomass carbon,Edge influence,Fragmentation,Latitudinal gradient,Microclimate,Temperate deciduous forests,SOIL ORGANIC-CARBON,LEAF-AREA INDEX,NITROGEN DEPOSITION,TEMPERATE FORESTS,DRIVING FACTORS,MICROCLIMATE,STORAGE,MANAGEMENT,CLIMATE,BIOMASS}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  pages        = {{13}},
  title        = {{Drivers of carbon stocks in forest edges across Europe}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.143497}},
  volume       = {{759}},
  year         = {{2021}},
}

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