iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Impacts of stump harvesting on carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide fluxes

Patrik Vestin (1)   , Meelis Mölder (1), Natascha Kljun (2), Zhanzhang Cai (1), Abdulghani Hasan (1-3), Jutta Holst (1), Leif Klemedtsson (4), Anders Lindroth (1)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 15, Issue 3, Pages 148-162 (2022)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor4086-015
Published: May 07, 2022 - Copyright © 2022 SISEF

Research Articles

During 2010-2013, we investigated the effects of stump harvesting on greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) with the flux-gradient technique at four experimental plots in a hemiboreal forest in Sweden. All plots were clear-cut and soil scarified and two of the plots were additionally stump harvested. The two clear-cut plots served as control plots. Due to differences in topography, we had one wetter and one drier plot of each treatment. All plots exhibited substantial emissions of GHGs and we noted significant effects of wetness on CO2, CH4 and N2O fluxes within treatments and significant effects of stump harvesting on CO2 and N2O fluxes at the dry plots. The CO2 emissions were lower at the dry stump harvested plot than at the dry control, but when estimated emissions from the removed stumps were added, total CO2 emissions were higher at the stump harvested plot, indicating a small enhancement of soil respiration. In addition, we noted significant emissions of N2O at this plot. At the wet plots, CO2 emissions were higher at the stump harvested plot, also suggesting a treatment effect but differences in wetness and vegetation cover at these plots make this effect more uncertain. At the wet plots, we noted sustained periods (weeks to months) of net N2O uptake. During the year with simultaneous measurements of the abovementioned GHGs, GHG budgets were 1.224×103 and 1.442×103 gm-2 of CO2-equivalents at the wet and dry stump harvested plots, respectively, and 1.070×103 and 1.696×103 gm-2 of CO2-equivalents at the wet and dry control plots, respectively. CO2 fluxes dominated GHG budgets at all plots but N2O contributed with 17% at the dry stump harvested plot. For the full period 2010-2013, total carbon (CO2+CH4) budgets were 4.301×103 and 4.114×103 g m-2 of CO2-eqvivalents at the wet and dry stump harvest plots, respectively and 4.107×103 and 5.274×103 gm-2 of CO2-equivalents at the wet and dry control plots, respectively. Our results support recent studies suggesting that stump harvesting does not result in substantial increase in CO2 emissions but uncertainties regarding GHG fluxes (especially N2O) remain and more long-term measurements are needed before robust conclusions can be drawn.


CO2, CH4, N2O, Greenhouse Gas Budget, Stump Harvesting, Climate Change Mitigation, Forest Management, Hemiboreal Forest

Authors’ address

Natascha Kljun 0000-0001-9650-2184
Centre for Environmental and Climate Science, Lund University, Sölvegatan 37, 22362, Lund (Sweden)
Abdulghani Hasan 0000-0001-5667-0482
Department of Landscape, Architecture, Planning and Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Slottsvägen 6, 230 53, Alnarp (Sweden)
Leif Klemedtsson 0000-0002-1122-0717
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Guldhedsgatan 5a, 405 30 Gothenburg (Sweden)

Corresponding author



Vestin P, Mölder M, Kljun N, Cai Z, Hasan A, Holst J, Klemedtsson L, Lindroth A (2022). Impacts of stump harvesting on carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide fluxes. iForest 15: 148-162. - doi: 10.3832/ifor4086-015

Academic Editor

Marco Borghetti

Paper history

Received: Feb 25, 2022
Accepted: Apr 27, 2022

First online: May 07, 2022
Publication Date: Jun 30, 2022
Publication Time: 0.33 months

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