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Carbon Storage Dynamics of Secondary Forest Succession in the Central Loess Plateau of China

1
Key Comprehensive Laboratory of Forestry in Shaanxi Province, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China
2
State Key Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Dryland Farming on the Loess Plateau, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China
3
College of Forestry, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2019, 10(4), 342; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10040342
Received: 24 March 2019 / Revised: 14 April 2019 / Accepted: 14 April 2019 / Published: 17 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Carbon Inventories and Management)
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Abstract

Research Highlights: This study comprehensively revealed the carbon sequestration characteristics of secondary forests in the central Loess Plateau during vegetation succession. Background and Objectives: The secondary succession of Loess Plateau forests is of great significance in global climate change, but their carbon storage dynamics are poorly understood. The study objectives were to clarify the pattern of changes and contribution level of carbon stocks in various components of ecosystem during succession. Materials and Methods: We selected 18 plots for Pinus tabuliformis Carr. forest at the early stage of succession, 19 for pine-broadleaved mixed forest at the middle stage, and 12 for Quercus-broadleaved mixed forest at the climax stage to determine the tree, shrub, herb, fine root, litter, coarse wood debris (CWD), and soil carbon stocks. Results: Ecosystem carbon stocks increased from 160.73 to 231.14 Mg·ha−1 with the succession stages. Vegetation (including tree, shrub and herb) and soil were the two largest carbon pools, and carbon was mainly sequestrated in tree biomass and shallow soil (0–50 cm). In the early stage, soil contributed more carbon stocks to the ecosystem than vegetation, but with succession, the soil contribution decreased while vegetation contribution increased, finally reaching a balance (46.78% each) at the climax stage. Fine root, litter, and CWD contributed little (average 6.59%) to ecosystem carbon stocks and were mainly involved in the turnover of vegetation biomass to soil carbon. Conclusions: Our results provide direct evidence for carbon sequestration of secondary forests on the Loess Plateau. The dynamic results of carbon storage provide an important basis for forest restoration management under climate change. View Full-Text
Keywords: carbon stocks; secondary succession; Loess Plateau; Quercus forests carbon stocks; secondary succession; Loess Plateau; Quercus forests
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Yang, B.; Zhang, W.; Lu, Y.; Zhang, W.; Wang, Y. Carbon Storage Dynamics of Secondary Forest Succession in the Central Loess Plateau of China. Forests 2019, 10, 342.

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