Old Field Soil Respiration


The old-field forest type of the Red Hills region of North Florida and South Georgia is the dominant forest type found on a collection of large plantation properties currently managed to promote Northern Bobwhite quail populations and selective timber harvesting.

Tall Timbers Research StationMany of these properties contain a mixture of old-field forests and remnant upland longleaf pine forests that together provide habitat for threatened and endangered species such as the Red-cockaded Woodpecker.  Prescribed fire is one of the dominant tools of forest management on these properties and the region is famous for its history of fire ecology and management.  These private properties represent a significant regional holding of conserved lands, totaling over 121,000 ha stretching from the Ochlocknee River to the Aucilla River.

Future and anticipated alternative revenue streams for carbon sequestration services may provide incentives for new and old landowners to maintain their properties in conserved states.  Current carbon sequestration (carbon credit) accounting relies on an understanding of carbon pools and fluxes within forested systems.  Previous and ongoing research in old-field carbon dynamics at Tall Timbers Research Station in Leon County, Florida has quantified aboveground carbon pools across multiple prescribed fire management regimes.  The intent of much of this research is to understand how prolonged prescribed fire management programs in old-field forests influence forest carbon allocation and fluxes.  One of the primary carbon fluxes that remains to be understood following these management regimes is soil respiration.  To address this need, this study seeks to address questions regarding the influence of prolonged prescribed fire management regimes on soil respiration rates, and the biotic and abiotic factors known to influence soil carbon.


  • Poster Presentation (.pdf) – International Association for Wildland Fire 4th Fire Behavior and Fuels Conference (2013)
  • Poster Presentation (.pdf) – Association for Fire Ecology Interior West Fire Ecology Conference (2011)


  • A new research video presentation featuring some of the methods used to sample soil respiration rates at the Tall Timbers Research Station plots:

Tall Timbers Soil Respiration Research from D Godwin on Vimeo.

  • The original Tall Timbers soil respiration research video I produced at the beginning of 2012:

Tall Timbers Soil Carbon Respiration from D Godwin on Vimeo.