Charcoal and carbon stocks, post-disturbances

Our paper in Ecosystems is now available (on the publications page).  In it, we describe the effect of multiple disturbances on carbon stocks.  While that's interesting on its own, the cool part is the explicit isolation of black carbon / charcoal stocks, thought to be a potential long-term storage vector for carbon in fire-prone landscapes.  Basically, it's really recalcitrant to degradation, and so conceivably, might build up in landscapes, leading to long-term removal of atmospheric CO2.  After all, it came from plants originally.

However, we found that there wasn't a lot of charcoal added to an environment post-fire.  Surprising?  A little, but it seems that the charcoal consumed in the fire (which originated in previous events) mostly balances out the new charcoal production.  There is a small bump, but using the decay curves for charcoal, it ends up being carbon-neutral over the expected fire return interval.