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Open AccessArticle

Carbon and Nitrogen Stocks in Three Types of Larix gmelinii Forests in Daxing’an Mountains, Northeast China

by Ruihan Xiao 1,2, Xiuling Man 1,2,* and Beixing Duan 1,2
1
School of forestry, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin 150040, China
2
Key Laboratory of Sustainable Forest Ecosystem Management-Ministry of Education, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin 150040, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2020, 11(3), 305; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11030305
Received: 3 February 2020 / Revised: 5 March 2020 / Accepted: 9 March 2020 / Published: 11 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Resources Assessments: Mensuration, Inventory and Planning)
Studying carbon and nitrogen stocks in different types of larch forest ecosystems is of great significance for assessing the carbon sink capacity and nitrogen level in larch forests. To evaluate the effects of the differences of forest type on the carbon and nitrogen stock capacity of the larch forest ecosystem, we selected three typical types of larch forest ecosystems in the northern part of Daxing’an Mountains, which were the Rhododendron simsii-Larix gmelinii forest (RL), Ledum palustre-Larix gmelinii forest (LL) and Sphagnum-Bryum-Ledum palustre-Larix gmelinii forest (SLL), to determine the carbon and nitrogen stocks in the vegetation (trees and understories), litter and soil. Results showed that there were significant differences in carbon and nitrogen stocks among the three types of larch forest ecosystems, showing a sequence of SLL (288.01 Mg·ha−1 and 25.19 Mg·ha−1) > LL (176.52 Mg·ha−1 and 14.85 Mg·ha−1) > RL (153.93 Mg·ha−1 and 10.00 Mg·ha−1) (P < 0.05). The largest proportions of carbon and nitrogen stocks were found in soils, accounting for 83.20%, 72.89% and 64.61% of carbon stocks and 98.61%, 97.58% and 96.00% of nitrogen stocks in the SLL, LL and RL, respectively. Also, it was found that significant differences among the three types of larch forest ecosystems in terms of soil carbon and nitrogen stocks (SLL > LL > RL) (P < 0.05) were the primary reasons for the differences in the ecosystem carbon and nitrogen stocks. More than 79% of soil carbon and 51% of soil nitrogen at a depth of 0–100 cm were stored in the upper 50 cm of the soil pool. In the vegetation layer, due to the similar tree biomass carbon and nitrogen stocks, there were no significant differences in carbon and nitrogen stocks among the three types of larch forest ecosystems. The litter carbon stock in the SLL was significantly higher than that in the LL and RL (P < 0.05), but no significant differences in nitrogen stock were found among them (P > 0.05). These findings suggest that different forest types with the same tree layer and different understory vegetation can greatly affect the carbon and nitrogen stock capacity of the forest ecosystem. This indicates that understory vegetation may have significant effects on the carbon and nitrogen stocks in soil and litter, which highlights the need to consider the effects of understory in future research into the carbon and nitrogen stock capacity of forest ecosystems. View Full-Text
Keywords: carbon and nitrogen stocks; larch forest; forest type; environmental factors; biomass carbon and nitrogen stocks; larch forest; forest type; environmental factors; biomass
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Xiao, R.; Man, X.; Duan, B. Carbon and Nitrogen Stocks in Three Types of Larix gmelinii Forests in Daxing’an Mountains, Northeast China. Forests 2020, 11, 305.

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