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Open AccessArticle

Quantifying Tree and Soil Carbon Stocks in a Temperate Urban Forest in Northeast China

Northeast Institute of Geography and Agricultural Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun 130102, China
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, No. 19A Yuquan Road, Beijing 100049, China
Key Laboratory of Forest Plant Ecology, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin 150040, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Francisco Escobedo, Stephen John Livesley and Justin Morgenroth
Forests 2016, 7(9), 200;
Received: 30 June 2016 / Revised: 2 September 2016 / Accepted: 6 September 2016 / Published: 10 September 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban and Periurban Forest Diversity and Ecosystem Services)
Society has placed greater focus on the ecological service of urban forests; however, more information is required on the variation of carbon (C) in trees and soils in different functional forest types, administrative districts, and urban-rural gradients. To address this issue, we measured various tree and soil parameters by sampling 219 plots in the urban forest of the Harbin city region. Averaged tree and soil C stock density (C stocks per unit tree cover) for Harbin city were 7.71 (±7.69) kg C·m−2 and 5.48 (±2.86) kg C·m−2, respectively. They were higher than those of other Chinese cities (Shenyang and Changchun), but were much lower than local natural forests. The tree C stock densities varied 2.3- to 3.2-fold among forest types, administrative districts, and ring road-based urban-rural gradients. In comparison, soil organic C (SOC) densities varied by much less (1.4–1.5-fold). We found these to be urbanization-dependent processes, which were closely related to the urban-rural gradient data based on ring-roads and settlement history patterns. We estimated that SOC accumulation during the 100-year urbanization of Harbin was very large (5 to 14 thousand tons), accounting for over one quarter of the stored C in trees. Our results provide new insights into the dynamics of above- and below-ground C (especially in soil) during the urbanization process, and that a city’s ability to provide C-related ecosystem services increases as it ages. Our findings highlight that urbanization effects should be incorporated into calculations of soil C budgets in regions subject to rapid urban expansion, such as China. View Full-Text
Keywords: carbon storage; SOC density; urban-rural gradients; soil carbon; Harbin carbon storage; SOC density; urban-rural gradients; soil carbon; Harbin
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Lv, H.; Wang, W.; He, X.; Xiao, L.; Zhou, W.; Zhang, B. Quantifying Tree and Soil Carbon Stocks in a Temperate Urban Forest in Northeast China. Forests 2016, 7, 200.

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