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An Assessment of Carbon Storage in China’s Arboreal Forests

State Key Laboratory of Simulation and Regulation of Water Cycle in River Basin, China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Resources, Beijing 100038, China
College of Water Sciences, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
Dalian Waterwood Engineering Co. Ltd., Dalian 116021, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Adele Muscolo and Miroslava Mitrovic
Forests 2017, 8(4), 110;
Received: 27 February 2017 / Revised: 27 March 2017 / Accepted: 4 April 2017 / Published: 6 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Carbon Sequestration in Forests)
PDF [4274 KB, uploaded 7 April 2017]


In the years 2009–2013, China carried out its eighth national survey of forest resources. Based on the survey data, this paper used a biomass conversion function method to evaluate the carbon stores and carbon density of China’s arboreal forests. The results showed that: (1) By age group, the largest portion of carbon stores in China’s arboreal forests are in middle-aged forests. Over-mature forests have the least carbon storage; (2) By origin, natural forests of all age groups have higher carbon storage and carbon density than man-made forest plantations. The carbon density of natural forests and forest plantations increases gradually with the age of the trees; (3) By type (dominant tree species), the 18 most abundant types of arboreal forest in China account for approximately 94% of the nation’s total arboreal forest biomass and carbon storage. Among these, broadleaf mixed and Quercus spp. form the two largest portions. Taxus spp. forests, while comprising a very small portion of China’s forested area, have very high carbon density; (4) By region, the overall arboreal forest carbon storage is highest in the southwest part of China, and lowest in the northwest. However, because of differences in land use and forest coverage ratios, regions with arboreal forests of high carbon density are not necessarily the same regions that have high overall carbon storage; (5) By province, Heilongjiang, Yunnan, Tibet, Sichuan, Inner Mongolia, and Jilin have rather high carbon storage. The arboreal forests in Tibet, Jilin, Xinjiang, Sichuan, Yunnan, and Hainan have a rather high carbon density. This paper’s evaluation of carbon storage in China’s arboreal forests is a valuable reference for interpreting the role and function of Chinese ecosystems in coping with global climate change. View Full-Text
Keywords: arboreal forests; biomass; carbon storage; carbon density; forest resource inventory arboreal forests; biomass; carbon storage; carbon density; forest resource inventory

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Shao, W.; Cai, J.; Wu, H.; Liu, J.; Zhang, H.; Huang, H. An Assessment of Carbon Storage in China’s Arboreal Forests. Forests 2017, 8, 110.

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