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Forests 2017, 8(6), 191; doi:10.3390/f8060191

Plant Debris and Its Contribution to Ecosystem Carbon Storage in Successional Larix gmelinii Forests in Northeastern China

Department of Ecology, College of Urban and Environmental Science, and Key Laboratory for Earth Surface Processes of the Ministry of Education, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
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Academic Editor: Yowhan Son
Received: 11 April 2017 / Revised: 27 May 2017 / Accepted: 31 May 2017 / Published: 31 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coarse Woody Debris of Forests in a Changing World)
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Abstract

Plant debris, including woody debris and litter, is an essential but frequently overlooked component of carbon (C) storage in forest ecosystems. Here, we examined the C storage of plant debris and its contribution to total ecosystem C storage in an age sequence of six larch (Larix gmelinii) forest stands (15, 36, 45, 54, 65, and 138 years old) in northeastern China. The plant debris C storage increased from 6.0 ± 0.5 Mg·C·ha−1 in the 15-year-old stand to a maximum of 9.3 ± 1.8 Mg·C·ha−1 in the 138-year-old stand. The C storage of woody debris increased during stand development in a sigmoidal pattern, increasing from 0.7 ± 0.2 Mg·C·ha−1 in the 15-year-old stand to 4.7 ± 1.3 Mg·C·ha−1 in the 138-year-old stand. However, the C storage of litter (4.6−5.4 Mg·C·ha−1) did not vary with stand age in this larch chronosequence. In addition, the ratio of woody debris to live tree biomass C storage was relatively stable across stands (approximately 3.3%). These results highlight the importance of considering successional development and stand characteristics in assessing changes of plant debris and total ecosystem C storage in the larch forest ecosystem View Full-Text
Keywords: fine woody debris (FWD); coarse woody debris (CWD); litter; ecosystem carbon storage; Larix gmelinii; age sequence fine woody debris (FWD); coarse woody debris (CWD); litter; ecosystem carbon storage; Larix gmelinii; age sequence
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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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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhu, J.; Zhou, X.; Fang, W.; Xiong, X.; Zhu, B.; Ji, C.; Fang, J. Plant Debris and Its Contribution to Ecosystem Carbon Storage in Successional Larix gmelinii Forests in Northeastern China. Forests 2017, 8, 191.

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