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Forests 2015, 6(4), 1239-1255; doi:10.3390/f6041239

Biomass, Carbon and Nutrient Storage in a 30-Year-Old Chinese Cork Oak (Quercus Variabilis) Forest on the South Slope of the Qinling Mountains, China

1,2
and
1,2,*
1
State Key Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Dryland Farming on the Loess Plateau, Northwest A & F University, Yangling 712100, China
2
Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Ministry of Water Resources, Yangling 712100, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Heinz Rennenberg and Mark A. Adams
Received: 5 December 2014 / Revised: 2 March 2015 / Accepted: 13 April 2015 / Published: 21 April 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nitrogen and Phosphorus Nutrition of Trees and Forests)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [480 KB, uploaded 21 April 2015]   |  

Abstract

Chinese cork oak (Quercus variabilis) forests are protected on a large-scale under the Natural Forest Protection (NFP) program in China to improve the ecological environment. However, information about carbon (C) storage to increase C sequestration and sustainable management is lacking. Biomass, C, nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) storage of trees, shrubs, herb, litter and soil (0–100 cm) were determined from destructive tree sampling and plot level investigation in approximately 30-year old Chinese cork oak forests on the south slope of the Qinling Mountains. There was no significant difference in tree components’ biomass estimation, with the exception of roots, among the available allometric equations developed from this study site and other previous study sites. Leaves had the highest C, N and P concentrations among tree components and stems were the major compartments for tree biomass, C, N and P storage. In contrast to finding no difference in N concentrations along the whole soil profile, higher C and P concentrations were observed in the upper 0–10 cm of soil than in the deeper soil layers. The ecosystem C, N, and P storage was 163.76, 18.54 and 2.50 t ha−1, respectively. Soil (0–100 cm) contained the largest amount of C, N and P storage, accounting for 61.76%, 92.78% and 99.72% of the total ecosystem, followed by 36.14%, 6.03% and 0.23% for trees, and 2.10%, 1.19% and 0.03% for shrubs, herbs and litter, respectively. The equations accurately estimate ecosystem biomass, and the knowledge of the distribution of C, N and P storage will contribute to increased C sequestration and sustainable management of Chinese cork oak forests under the NFP program. View Full-Text
Keywords: biomass allocation; carbon concentration; nutrient element; Natural Forest Protection (NFP) program biomass allocation; carbon concentration; nutrient element; Natural Forest Protection (NFP) program
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. (CC BY 4.0).

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Cao, Y.; Chen, Y. Biomass, Carbon and Nutrient Storage in a 30-Year-Old Chinese Cork Oak (Quercus Variabilis) Forest on the South Slope of the Qinling Mountains, China. Forests 2015, 6, 1239-1255.

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