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17. Open boreal woodlands (various open woody vegetation types; coniferous or broadleaved)

(Corresponds to Olson et al. northern & maritime taiga, and the 'northern variant of light taiga' of Russian authors).

References directly cited in these pages (does not at present include secondary citations)


50 tC/ha (vegetation), 15 tC/ha (litter), 129 tC/ha (soil) = 194 tC/ha total.


Storage (tC/ha) Location/type Author(s) 15 tC/ha (1.) Coarse woody debris M. Harmon (pers. comm.)

(1.) ad hoc assessment.


Storage (tC/ha) Location/type Author(s) 50 tC/ha (1.) northern taiga Olson et al. (1983) 10 tC/ha (2.) subarctic forest, Canada. Apps et al. (1993) 21.8 tC/ha (3.) 'forest-tundra' Kolch & Vins. (1994)

(1.) Based on a range of literature sources. 20 tC/ha (low) - 50 (medium) - 80 (high)

(2.) A study for Forestry Canada on Canadian carbon in forest ecosystems (Apps et al. 1993) presented figures for the 'subarctic' forest zone of Canada (approximately corresponding the the area of the 'open boreal woodlands' defined here. They suggest that there is less than 10 tC/ ha in biomass; obviously much lower than previous studies, although this includes sites disturbed by forestry activity. However, this large discrepancy needs to be examined further.

(3.) Kolchugina & Vinson (1994) suggest that a representative phytomass value in the FSU for what they call 'forest-tundra' (in fact partly corresponding in distribution to my 'open boreal woodland') would be 21.8 tC/ha.


Storage (tC/ha) Location/type Author(s) 129 tC/ha (1.) Northern or maritime taiga Zinke et al. (1984)

(1.) Based on 6 samples. SD = 14.4.