Charcoal and Carbon Storage in Forest Soils of the Rocky Mountain West

Tom Miles

Charcoal and Carbon Storage in Forest Soils of the Rocky Mountain West
The Wilderness Society, October 2007

"Charcoal produced during wildfire events represents an important form of long-term Carbon storage in forest ecosystems. Forest management practices, such as salvage logging or thinning without prescribed fire, may reduce soil charcoal content and, thus, long-term Carbon storage in mineral soils.

Conclusions

Charcoal represents an important component of the soil organic matter pool in temperate grasslands and forests. It contributes to the total water-holding capacity, ion exchange complex, and surface area of the soil environment.

Once deposited in soil, charcoal is highly stable, having mean residence times 30