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The Impact of Near Natural Forest Management on the Carbon Stock and Sequestration Potential of Pinus massoniana (Lamb.) and Cunninghamia lanceolata (Lamb.) Hook. Plantations

1
Experimental Center of Tropical Forestry, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Guangxi Youyiguan Forest Ecosystem Research Station, Pingxiang 532600, China
2
Hubei Key Laboratory of Regional Development and Environmental Response; Faculty of Resources and Environmental Sciences, Hubei University, Wuhan 430062, China
3
Key Laboratory of Forest Ecology and Environment, State Forestry Administration; Institute of Forest Ecology, Environment and Protection, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing 100091, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2019, 10(8), 626; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10080626
Received: 13 June 2019 / Revised: 21 July 2019 / Accepted: 25 July 2019 / Published: 26 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
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Abstract

Quantifying the impact of forest management on carbon (C) stock is important for evaluating and enhancing the ability of plantations to mitigate climate change. Near natural forest management (NNFM) through species enrichment planting in single species plantations, structural adjustment, and understory protection is widely used in plantation management. However, its long-term effect on forest ecosystem C stock remains unclear. We therefore selected two typical coniferous plantations in southwest China, Pinus massoniana (Lamb.) and Cunninghamia lanceolate (Lamb.) Hook., to explore the effects of long-term NNFM on ecosystem C storage. The C content and stock of different components in the pure plantations of P. massoniana (PCK) and C. lanceolata (CCK), and their corresponding near natural managed forests (PCN and CCN, respectively), were investigated during eight years of NNFM beginning in 2008. In 2016, there was no change in the vegetation C content, while soil C content in the 0–20 cm and 20–40 cm layers significantly increased, compared to the pure forests. In the P. massoniana and C. lanceolata plantations, NNFM increased the ecosystem C stock by 31.8% and 24.3%, respectively. Overall, the total C stock of soil and arborous layer accounted for 98.2%–99.4% of the whole ecosystem C stock. The increase in the biomass of the retained and underplanted trees led to a greater increase in the arborous C stock in the near natural forests than in the controls. The NNFM exhibited an increasingly positive correlation with the ecosystem C stock over time. Long-term NNFM enhances ecosystem C sequestration by increasing tree growth rate at individual and stand scales, as well as by likely changing the litter decomposition rate resulting from shifts in species composition and stand density. These results indicated that NNFM plays a positive role in achieving multi-objective silviculture and climate change mitigation. View Full-Text
Keywords: near natural forest management; Pinus massoniana; Cunninghamia lanceolata; plantation; carbon allocation; climate change near natural forest management; Pinus massoniana; Cunninghamia lanceolata; plantation; carbon allocation; climate change
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Ming, A.; Yang, Y.; Liu, S.; Nong, Y.; Li, H.; Tao, Y.; Sun, D.; Lei, L.; Zeng, J.; An, N. The Impact of Near Natural Forest Management on the Carbon Stock and Sequestration Potential of Pinus massoniana (Lamb.) and Cunninghamia lanceolata (Lamb.) Hook. Plantations. Forests 2019, 10, 626.

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