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Forests 2013, 4(4), 1141-1157; doi:10.3390/f4041141
Article

White Spruce Plantations on Abandoned Agricultural Land: Are They More Effective as C Sinks than Natural Succession?

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Received: 16 October 2013; in revised form: 21 November 2013 / Accepted: 3 December 2013 / Published: 11 December 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest and Wood Vegetation Carbon Stores and Sequestration)
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Abstract: The objective of this study was to compare organic carbon (C) accumulation in plantations (PL) and natural succession (NS) established on fallow lands along a 50-year chronosequence in the eastern mixed forest subzone of Quebec (Canada). Above- and below-ground woody biomass were estimated from vegetation measurement surveys, and litter and soil (0–50 cm depth) C from samplings. At the year of abandonment, total C content of both PL and NS sites averaged 100 ± 13 Mg C ha−1. Over 50 years, total C content doubled on NS sites and tripled on PL sites (217.9 ± 28.7 vs. 285.7 ± 31.0 Mg ha−1) with respect to fallow land. On NS sites, the new C stocks accumulated entirely in the vegetation. On PL sites, C accumulated mostly in the vegetation and to a lesser extent in the litter, whereas it decreased by a third in the soil. As a result, the net C accumulation rate was 1.7 ± 0.7 Mg ha−1 yr−1 greater on PL sites than on NS sites over 50 years. By the 23rd year, PL sites became greater net C sinks than NS sites in the fallow lands of the study area, even with the loss of soil C.
Keywords: forest carbon sequestration; afforestation; white spruce; plantations; natural succession; abandoned agricultural land forest carbon sequestration; afforestation; white spruce; plantations; natural succession; abandoned agricultural land
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Tremblay, S.; Ouimet, R. White Spruce Plantations on Abandoned Agricultural Land: Are They More Effective as C Sinks than Natural Succession? Forests 2013, 4, 1141-1157.

AMA Style

Tremblay S, Ouimet R. White Spruce Plantations on Abandoned Agricultural Land: Are They More Effective as C Sinks than Natural Succession? Forests. 2013; 4(4):1141-1157.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Tremblay, Sylvie; Ouimet, Rock. 2013. "White Spruce Plantations on Abandoned Agricultural Land: Are They More Effective as C Sinks than Natural Succession?" Forests 4, no. 4: 1141-1157.


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