A model a forest floor carbon mass for United States forest types
Document Type: Book
Author(s): J. E. Smith; L. S. Smith
Publication Year: 2002

Cataloging Information

  • carbon
  • coniferous forests
  • decomposition
  • disturbance
  • forest management
  • forest types
  • forestation
  • hardwood forests
  • heavy fuels
  • litter
  • low intensity burns
  • mineral soils
  • nutrients
  • soil management
  • soil organic matter
  • soils
  • understory vegetation
  • wildfires
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: August 3, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 45929
Tall Timbers Record Number: 21558
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: A13.78:NE-722
TTRS Abstract Status: Fair use, Okay, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


We summarize a large set of published values of forest floor mass and develop large-scale estimates of carbon mass according to region and forest type. Published values of forest floor carbon mass or information relevant to compiling such summaries are scarce. We present a simulation model based on observations obtained from literature surveys for use in the 2002 version of FORCARB, a carbon budget model for U.S. forests. The forest floor is the distinct layer of dead and decaying plant material that accumulates on the soil surface, which lies above the mineral soil and includes small woody debris. Estimates of average forest floor carbon mass per hectare of forest applied to a 1997 summary forest inventory, sum to 4.5 Gt carbon stored in forests of the 48 contiguous United States.

Online Link(s):
Smith, J. E., and L. S. Smith. 2002. A model a forest floor carbon mass for United States forest types. Research Paper NE-722. Newton Square, PA, USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station.