Author(s): Zhang Q, Wang C
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Abstract Quantifying forest carbon (C) storage and distribution is important for forest C cycling studies and terrestrial ecosystem modeling. Forest inventory and allometric approaches were used to measure C density and allocation in six representative temperate forests of similar stand age (42-59 years old) and growing under the same climate in northeastern China. The forests were an aspen-birch forest, a hardwood forest, a Korean pine plantation, a Dahurian larch plantation, a mixed deciduous forest, and a Mongolian oak forest. There were no significant differences in the C densities of ecosystem components (except for detritus) although the six forests had varying vegetation compositions and site conditions. However, the differences were significant when the C pools were normalized against stand basal area. The total ecosystem C density varied from 186.9 tC hm(-2) to 349.2 tC hm(-2) across the forests. The C densities of vegetation, detritus, and soil ranged from 86.3-122.7 tC hm(-2), 6.5-10.5 tC hm(-2), and 93.7-220.1 tC hm(-2), respectively, which accounted for 39.7\% +/- 7.1\% (mean +/- SD), 3.3\% +/- 1.1\%, and 57.0\% +/- 7.9\% of the total C densities, respectively. The overstory C pool accounted for > 99\% of the total vegetation C pool. The foliage biomass, small root (diameter < 5mm) biomass, root-shoot ratio, and small root to foliage biomass ratio varied from 2.08-4.72 tC hm(-2), 0.95-3.24 tC hm(-2), 22.0\%-28.3\%, and 34.5\%-122.2\%, respectively. The Korean pine plantation had the lowest foliage production efficiency (total biomass/foliage biomass: 22.6 g g(-1)) among the six forests, while the Dahurian larch plantation had the highest small root production efficiency (total biomass/small root biomass: 124.7 g g(-1)). The small root C density decreased with soil depth for all forests except for the Mongolian oak forest, in which the small roots tended to be vertically distributed downwards. The C density of coarse woody debris was significantly less in the two plantations than in the four naturally regenerated forests. The variability of C allocation patterns in a specific forest is jointly influenced by vegetation type, management history, and local water and nutrient availability. The study provides important data for developing and validating C cycling models for temperate forests.
This article was published in Sci China Life Sci
and referenced in Forest Research: Open Access