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Forests 2017, 8(11), 419; doi:10.3390/f8110419

Dynamics of Understory Shrub Biomass in Six Young Plantations of Southern Subtropical China

1
Hunan Province Key Laboratory of Coal Resources Clean-utilization and Mine Environment Protection, Hunan University of Science and Technology, Xiangtan 411201, China
2
Key Laboratory of Vegetation Restoration and Management of Degraded Ecosystems, South China Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510650, China
3
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
4
College of Environment and Planning, Henan University, Kaifeng 475004, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 August 2017 / Revised: 18 October 2017 / Accepted: 30 October 2017 / Published: 2 November 2017
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Abstract

Understory shrubs are an important component of forest ecosystems and drive ecosystem processes, such as ecosystem carbon cycling. However, shrub biomass carbon stocks have rarely been reported, which limits our understanding of ecosystem C stock and cycling. In this study, we evaluated carbon accumulation of shrub species using allometric equations based on height and basal diameter in six subtropical plantations at the age of 1, 3, 4 and 6 years. The results showed that plantation type did not significantly affect the total biomass of shrubs, but it significantly affected the biomass of Rhodomyrtus tomentosa, Ilex asprella, Clerodendrum fortunatum and Baeckea frutescens. The biomass of dominant shrub species R. tomentosa, I. asprella, Gardenia jasminoides and Melastoma candidum increased with stand age, while the biomass of C. fortunatum and B. frutescens decreased. The inconsistent biomass-time patterns of different shrub species may be the primary reason for the altered total shrub biomass in each plantation. Consequently, we proposed that R. tomentosa, I. asprella, G. jasminoides and M. candidum could be preferable for understory carbon accumulation and should be maintained or planted because of their important functions in carbon accumulation and high economic values in the young plantations of southern subtropical China. View Full-Text
Keywords: reforestation; understory plants; stand age; biomass carbon accumulation; Rhodomyrtus tomentosa; Ilex asprella; Gardenia jasminoides; Melastoma candidum; Clerodendrum fortunatum; Baeckea frutescens reforestation; understory plants; stand age; biomass carbon accumulation; Rhodomyrtus tomentosa; Ilex asprella; Gardenia jasminoides; Melastoma candidum; Clerodendrum fortunatum; Baeckea frutescens
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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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Chen, Y.; Cai, X.; Zhang, Y.; Rao, X.; Fu, S. Dynamics of Understory Shrub Biomass in Six Young Plantations of Southern Subtropical China. Forests 2017, 8, 419.

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