About Megan Plete Postol

Megan Plete Postol is a freelance journalist and outdoor writer based in the Southern Adirondack area.

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Comments

  1. Jenn says

    This was an informative interview, however, I feel that it was stopped short. At the end, when Bryan said that our forests’ carbon sequestration rates are slowing down, I have so many more questions to ask. Firstly, I have always heard that old growth forests store more carbon than younger growth. So if the forests are aging, wouldn’t that mean they can store more carbon? If not, then what is the solution? Targeted harvesting and replanting of trees? Or is it a natural course that the carbon sequestration rate is slowing?

  2. Boreas says

    Jenn,

    Your question is a good one. But looking at “short-term” (60-100 year) sequestration rates and rate changes may be a little too narrow a view. For instance, Northeastern forests are losing ash and other species at an alarming rate due to disease and invasive pests. These trees will be supplanted naturally by species that are best able to survive in their former shadow given the changing climatic conditions. Trying to improve sequestration short-term by attempting to manipulate/manage forests could interfere with the overall health of a maturing forest. Removing healthy biomass and/or cutting/thinning trees and leaving them to rot in place may ultimately be more detrimental in the long term. Forests that are MANY centuries old are different and more resilient than relatively young forests that are recovering from being denuded only a century ago.

    At this point, any apparent slowing of sequestration in the short term may involve factors are just that – short term. Forests alone aren’t going to be our savior. Climate, precipitation (natural and chemical), available and spectrum of solar radiation, mycorrhizal networks, and soil changes are just a few concurrent factors. Maximizing sequestration rates for the short-term in recovering forests may be ignoring other factors that keep these forests healthy and resilient in the longer run. It is only one factor in a complex natural system.

  3. JAMES MARCO says

    Boreas is correct. Short term benefits from sequestration is difficult to asses. At best, it leads to false conclusions. Sugars (and polysaccharides) and other compounds break down over time, Often leaves, needles and other foliage are mixed in the depth of the loam in the ADKs. This becomes a true sequestration in the sense that they do not break down easily. The overall depth of the loam says more about a forests sequestration than surface logs that quickly decay.

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