The carbon pool in a British semi-natural woodland

GL Patenaude*, BDJ Briggs, R Milne, C. S. Rowland, TP Dawson, S. N. Pryor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

A comprehensive, generally non-destructive quantification of carbon in all significant above- and below-ground forest components for five contrasting stands was undertaken in Monks Wood, southeast England. The total carbon content of the five selected stands varied from 346 to 616 t ha(-1). The mean carbon content of the forest components was approximately 2 t ha(-1) for deadwood, 3 t ha(-1) each for foliage and ground vegetation/litter, 18 t ha(-1) for understorey shrubs and small trees, 28 t ha-1 for all roots, 78 t ha(-1) for overstorey trees, and 335 t ha(-1) for soils. The results of this study suggest that if the stands sampled at Monks Wood were representative of broadleaved woodlands in Great Britain and, if understorey vegetation were considered, they would contain 92.6 Mt carbon. This contrasts with a previous estimate of 61.9 Mt carbon, which excluded understorey vegetation. The results highlight the importance of broadleaved woodlands as carbon stores and will be informative to current and future initiatives for developing British woodlands to offset greenhouse gas emissions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-119
Number of pages11
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003

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