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PLoS One. 2014 Oct 24;9(10):e109730. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0109730. eCollection 2014.

Above- and below-ground carbon stocks in an indigenous tree (Mytilaria laosensis) plantation chronosequence in subtropical China.

Author information

1
Experimental Center of Tropical Forestry, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Pingxiang, Guangxi, China PR; Institute of Forest Ecology, Environment and Protection, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing, China PR; Guangxi Youyiguan Forest Ecosystem Research Station, Pingxiang, Guangxi, China PR.
2
Experimental Center of Tropical Forestry, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Pingxiang, Guangxi, China PR; Guangxi Youyiguan Forest Ecosystem Research Station, Pingxiang, Guangxi, China PR.
3
College of Forestry, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing, China PR.
4
Experimental Center of Tropical Forestry, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Pingxiang, Guangxi, China PR.
5
College of Forestry, Guangxi University, Nanning, Guangxi, China PR.

Abstract

More than 60% of the total area of tree plantations in China is in subtropical, and over 70% of subtropical plantations consist of pure stands of coniferous species. Because of the poor ecosystem services provided by pure coniferous plantations and the ecological instability of these stands, a movement is under way to promote indigenous broadleaf plantation cultivation as a promising alternative. However, little is known about the carbon (C) stocks in indigenous broadleaf plantations and their dependence on stand age. Thus, we studied above- and below-ground biomass and C stocks in a chronosequence of Mytilaria laosensis plantations in subtropical China; stands were 7, 10, 18, 23, 29 and 33 years old. Our assessments included tree, shrub, herb and litter layers. We used plot-level inventories and destructive tree sampling to determine vegetation C stocks. We also measured soil C stocks by analyses of soil profiles to 100 cm depth. C stocks in the tree layer dominated the above-ground ecosystem C pool across the chronosequence. C stocks increased with age from 7 to 29 years and plateaued thereafter due to a reduction in tree growth rates. Minor C stocks were found in the shrub and herb layers of all six plantations and their temporal fluctuations were relatively small. C stocks in the litter and soil layers increased with stand age. Total above-ground ecosystem C also increased with stand age. Most increases in C stocks in below-ground and total ecosystems were attributable to increases in soil C content and tree biomass. Therefore, considerations of C sequestration potential in indigenous broadleaf plantations must take stand age into account.

PMID:
25343446
PMCID:
PMC4208760
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0109730
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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