Analyzing Trade-Offs, Synergies, and Drivers among Timber Production, Carbon Sequestration, and Water Yield in Pinus elliotii Forests in Southeastern USA
Escobedo, Francisco J.
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Managing Pinus elliotii forests for timber production and/or carbon sequestration is a common management objective, but can negatively affect water yield due to high losses from evapotranspiration. Thus, understanding the trade-offs and potential synergies among multiple ecosystem goods services, as well as the drivers influencing these interactions, can help identify effective forest management practices. We used available data from 377 permanent plots from the USDA Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis Program for 2002–2011, and a forest water yield model to quantify provision levels and spatial distribution and patterns of carbon sequestration, timber volume and water yield for Pinus elliotii ecosystems in North Florida, USA. A ranking-classification framework and statistical analyses were used to better understand the interactions among ecosystem services and the effect of biophysical drivers on ecosystem service bundles. Results indicate that increased biomass reduced water yield but this trade-off varied across space. Specific synergies, or acceptable provision levels, among carbon sequestration, timber volume and water yield were identified and mapped. Additionally, stand age, silvicultural treatment, and site quality significantly affected the provision level of, and interactions among, the three ecosystem goods and services. The framework developed in this study can be used to assess, map, and manage subtropical forests for optimal provision of ecosystem services.