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U-M scientists remove thousands of aspens to glimpse forest's future
Date:5/23/2008

ment stand will be compared to uptake in a control stand about a mile away. Both sites have large towers topped with sniffers that send air samples to analytic instruments inside mobile laboratories below.

The U-M Biological Station, established in 1909, covers about 10,000 acres. Nearly all of it is designated as a nature research area.

Measurements collected since 1999 show that the U-M experimental forest adds about 7,000 tons of carbon each year to its total mass by pulling in carbon dioxide during photosynthesis and storing the carbon as new wood.

Vogel and his FASET colleagues from Ohio State University and Indiana University predict that once the aging aspens and birch are removed and the treatment stand has a chance to recover, the carbon storage rate in the treated area could increase by as much as 40 percent.

It's expected to increase because removing the aspens and birches will allow more sunlight to reach the understory trees. A more complex, multi-layered canopy will rise up to replace the aspens and birches.

FASET results will be of interest to climate modelers and forest ecologists---even policymakers. The project is funded with a $650,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy's National Institute for Climate Change Research.


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Contact: Jim Erickson
ericksn@umich.edu
734-647-1842
University of Michigan
Source:Eurekalert

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