PMID: 17633042Jul 18, 2007Paper

Effects of reforestation, deforestation, and afforestation on carbon storage in soils

SEB Experimental Biology Series
Claudia I CzimczikChristian Wirth


This study reviews the effects of changes in land use and land management on SOC pools in forest soils. In the 1990s, deforestation remained the most important land-use change in tropical regions (-142 x 10(6) ha per year). In non-tropical regions the forested area increased in developed countries as a result of natural reforestation (+26 x 10(6) ha per year). Deforestation also continued in under-developed countries in temperate regions. Without intensive site preparation, harvest followed by natural regeneration or reforestation has little impact on SOC pools in the mineral topsoil (0-0.3 m). Intensive site preparation results in losses of 6-13% of the initial SOC from the topsoil in the first decades. On average, deforestation followed by conversion to cropland results in SOC losses of 42% (or 0.1-1500 g (C) m(-2)) from the mineral topsoil, whereas conversion to pasture results in gains of 8%. The largest changes in SOC storage occur within the first two decades. After reforestation, SOC accumulation depends on the kind of managed forest established. Under productive deciduous reforestation (excluding eucalypts), SOC in the mineral topsoil accumulates at a rate of 20-50 g (C) m(-2) per year, and SOC pools could recover from ...Continue Reading

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