Climatic Change

, Volume 67, Issue 2, pp 237–246

Forage Yield-Based Carbon Storage in Grasslands of China


    • Laboratory of Quantitative Vegetation EcologyInstitute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences
    • Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry

DOI: 10.1007/s10584-004-0070-8

Cite this article as:
Ni, J. Climatic Change (2004) 67: 237. doi:10.1007/s10584-004-0070-8


Forage yield-based carbon storage in 18 grasslands of China was estimated according to the detailed investigation of grassland area and forage yield (standing crop), which were derived from a 10-year national grassland survey. The total forage yield carbon in Chinese grasslands is 134.09 Tg C for ca. 299 × 106 ha of grassland area and 1232 kg/ha of mean forage yield. The carbon storage is different depending on grassland types and climatic regions. Meadow, steppe and tussock occupy 93.3% (125.14 Tg C), and desert and swamp only accounts for 6.7% (8.95 Tg C) of total forage yield carbon. Forage yield carbon is stored largely in temperate (38.4%, 51.54 Tg C) and alpine regions (30.4%, 40.78 Tg C), and to less extent in tropical regions (22.1%, 29.66 Tg C). These three regions take 91% of the forage yield carbon in grasslands of China. The warm-temperate region accounts for only 9% (12.1 Tg C) of forage yields carbon. The forage yield-based carbon in grasslands of China is more accurate than the site biomass-based carbon estimate and the carbon density-based estimate. Although, forage yield carbon storage is small compared with the total carbon storage in China, carbon budgets of grasslands are often a dominant component in many regions and provide an important management opportunity to enhance terrestrial carbon sinks in vast areas of China.

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004