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Forests 2016, 7(7), 142; doi:10.3390/f7070142

Ecosystem Carbon Stock Loss after Land Use Change in Subtropical Forests in China

1
Key Laboratory of Bamboo and Rattan, International Centre for Bamboo and Rattan, Beijing 100102, China
2
Key Laboratory of Ecosystem Network Observation and Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 11A Datun Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101, China
3
Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources, Freiburg University, Tennenbacherstr. 4, 79108 Freiburg, Germany
4
School of Natural Resources, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA
5
Forest Inventory and Remote Sensing, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Büsgenweg 5, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Current address: Key Laboratory of Bamboo and Rattan, International Centre for Bamboo and Rattan, Beijing 100102, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Timothy A. Martin
Received: 11 May 2016 / Revised: 21 June 2016 / Accepted: 7 July 2016 / Published: 12 July 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Impacts on the Dynamics of Forest Ecosystems)
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Abstract

Converting secondary natural forests (SFs) to Chinese fir plantations (CFPs) represents one of the most important (8.9 million ha) land use changes in subtropical China. This study estimated both biomass and soil C stocks in a SF and a CFP that was converted from a SF, to quantify the effects of land use change on ecosystem C stock. After the forest conversion, biomass C in the CFP (73 Mg·ha−1) was significantly lower than that of the SF (114 Mg·ha−1). Soil organic C content and stock decreased with increasing soil depth, and the soil C stock in the 0–10 cm layer accounted for more than one third of the total soil C stock over 0–50 cm, emphasizing the importance of management of the top soil to reduce the soil C loss. Total ecosystem C stock of the SF and the CFP was 318 and 200 Mg·ha−1, respectively, 64% of which was soil C for both stands (205 Mg·ha−1 for the SF and 127 Mg·ha−1 for the CFP). This indicates that land use change from the SF to the CFP significantly decreased ecosystem C stock and highlights the importance of managing soil C. View Full-Text
Keywords: land use change; biomass carbon; soil carbon; Castanopsis sclerophylla; Cunninghamia lanceolata land use change; biomass carbon; soil carbon; Castanopsis sclerophylla; Cunninghamia lanceolata
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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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Fan, S.; Guan, F.; Xu, X.; Forrester, D.I.; Ma, W.; Tang, X. Ecosystem Carbon Stock Loss after Land Use Change in Subtropical Forests in China. Forests 2016, 7, 142.

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