, Volume 119, Issue 1-3, pp 527-543
Date: 02 Jun 2006

Quantifying Carbon Budgets Of Conifer Mediterranean Forest Ecosystems, Turkey

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Aboveground biomass, aboveground litterfall, and leaf litter decomposition of five indigenous tree stands (pure stands ofPinus brutia,Pinus nigra,Cedrus libani,Juniperus excelsa, and a mixed stand ofAbies cilicica,P. nigra, andC. libani) were measured in an eastern Mediterranean evergreen needleleaf forest of Turkey. Measurements were converted to regional scale estimates of carbon (C) stocks and fluxes of forest ecosystems, based on general non-site-specific allometric relationships. Mean C stock of the conifer forests was estimated as 97.8± 79 Mg C ha−1consisting of 83.0 ± 67 Mg C ha−1in the aboveground and 14.8 ± 12 Mg C ha−1in the belowground biomass. The forest stands had mean soil organic carbon (SOC) and nitrogen (SON) stocks of 172.0 ± 25.7 Mg C ha−1and 9.2 ± 1.2 Mg N ha−1, respectively. Mean total monthly litterfall was 376.2± 191.3 kg C ha−1, ranging from 641 ± 385 kg C ha−1forPinus brutiato 286 ± 82 kg C ha−1forCedrus libani. Decomposition rate constants (k) for pine needles were 0.0016 forCedrus libani, 0.0009 forPinus nigra, 0.0006 for the mixed stand, and 0.0005 day−1forPinus brutiaand Juniperus excelsa. Estimation of components of the C budgets revealed that the forest ecosystems were net C sinks, with a mean sequestration rate of 2.0 ± 1.1 Mg C ha−1 yr−1ranging from 3.2 ± 2 Mg C ha−1forPinus brutiato 1.6 ± 0.6 Mg C ha−1forCedrus libani. Mean net ecosystem productivity (NEP) resulted in sequestration of 98.4 ± 54.1 Gg CO2 yr−1from the atmosphere when extrapolated for the entire study area of 134.2 km2(Gg = 109 g). The quantitative C data from the study revealed the significance of the conifer Mediterranean forests as C sinks