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Forests 2017, 8(7), 263; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8070263

Spatiotemporal Distribution and Driving Factors of Forest Biomass Carbon Storage in China: 1977–2013

1
College of Economics and Management, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing 210037, China
2
Faculty of Agriculture, Life, and Environmental Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2H1, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Francisco X. Aguilar
Received: 4 June 2017 / Revised: 19 July 2017 / Accepted: 21 July 2017 / Published: 23 July 2017
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Abstract

Increasing forest vegetation is important for carbon dynamics and to maintain the ecological and environmental balance in China. However, there is little understanding of how socioeconomic factors affect forest biomass carbon storage (FBCS). Here, we used continuous functions for biomass expansion factors and China’s seven completed forest inventories to estimate the changes in FBCS for 31 provinces in mainland China between 1977 and 2013. We developed a model that decomposes the contribution of the different socioeconomic factors driving FBCS. We found China’s FBCS increased from 4972 TgC (1 Tg = 1012g) in 1977–1981 to 7435 TgC in 2009–2013, with a mean growth of 77 TgC/a, and the average forest carbon density increased from 36.0 to 38.9Mg/ha (1 Mg = 106g), mainly due to the arbor forest contribution. Among the seven regions in China, the southwestern region currently accounts for the highest proportion (37.3%) of national FBCS, followed by northeastern (19.7%), northern (12.5%) and eastern region (10.8%). The main socio-economic factors affecting FBCS were forest land dependence, industrial structure and economic development level. Optimizing forest type and age structure, improving forest productivity, and strengthening forest management are feasible options to further increase China’s FBCS. View Full-Text
Keywords: forest biomass carbon storage; forest carbon density; spatiotemporal distribution; socio-economic driving factors; China forest biomass carbon storage; forest carbon density; spatiotemporal distribution; socio-economic driving factors; China
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Yang, J.; Ji, X.; Deane, D.C.; Wu, L.; Chen, S. Spatiotemporal Distribution and Driving Factors of Forest Biomass Carbon Storage in China: 1977–2013. Forests 2017, 8, 263.

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