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One of the primary driving forces behind contemporary climate change is an increase in anthropogenic emissions of long-lived gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, and nitrous oxide. These greenhouse gases are leading to increasing mean global temperatures as well as numerous other biological and meteorological effects. As an important element of the global carbon cycle, forest ecosystems store carbon through vegetation growth and slow organic decomposition in soils. Recent research has shown that carbon storage is not limited to young forests and that old growth forests serve as a largely unrecognized sink of CO2. Understanding how the rate of carbon sequestration changes as forests mature is critical for making accurate calculations of terrestrial carbon storage and for understanding the impact of preservation or destruction of forests of varying ages.