Climatic Change

, Volume 118, Issue 3–4, pp 933–948 | Cite as

China’s forest biomass carbon sink based on seven inventories from 1973 to 2008

  • Chunhua Zhang
  • Weimin Ju
  • Jing M. Chen
  • Mei Zan
  • Dengqiu Li
  • Yanlian Zhou
  • Xiqun Wang
Article

Abstract

Inconsistent estimates of forest biomass carbon stocks (BCS) in China have been reported in recent decades using inventory data. This study was to update China’s forest biomass carbon sink based on seven forest inventories from 1973 to 2008 and to identify the relative contributions to such sink from changes in forest area and biomass carbon density (BCD) as a result of growth, plantation and harvests in different regions. Our results indicated that total BCS of all forest types, including forest stands and other forest types (economic forests, woodlands, shrub forests, bamboo forests and trees on non-forest lands), increased by 65 % from 1973 to 2008 and recently reached 8.12 Pg C. Total BCS and BCD of forest stands (canopy coverage >20 %) increased from 4.11 Pg C and 35.10 Mg C ha−1 to 6.24 Pg C and 40.12 Mg C ha−1 during the study period, respectively. Forest stands acted as a biomass carbon sink of 0.17 Pg C year−1, which accounts for 84.4 % of the total sink of all forest types from 1999 to 2008 and have great potential to absorb more biomass carbon in the future due to large fractions of young and middle aged forests, which are increasing BCD. BCS of forest stands increased in all regions but the northeast region. Their biomass carbon sink was mainly driven by the BCD increase in the densely populated south and east regions and by the expansion of forest areas in the north, northwest, and southwest regions with abundant land resources.

Notes

Acknowledgments

This study is funded by the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program) (2010CB950702 and 2010CB833503), Jiangsu Graduate Innovation Program (CXZZ11_0033), and the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions. We gratefully acknowledge the constructive suggestions by two anonymous reviewers, which helped to improve the quality of manuscript greatly.

Supplementary material

10584_2012_666_MOESM1_ESM.doc (676 kb)
ESM 1(DOC 808 KB)

References

  1. Chen JM, Chen WJ, Liu J, Cihlar J, Gray S (2000) Annual carbon balance of Canada’s forests during 1985–1996. Glob Biogeochem Cycles 14:839–849CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Chinese Ministry of Forestry (1977, 1982, 1989, 1994, 1999, 2004, 2009) Forest Resource Statistics of China (1973–1976, 1977–1981, 1984–1988, 1989–1993, 1994–1998, 1999–2003, 2004–2008) Department of Forest Resource and Management, Chinese Ministry of Forestry, Beijing, ChinaGoogle Scholar
  3. Dixon RK, Brown SL, Houghton RA, Solomon AM, Trexler MC, Wisniewski J (1994) Carbon pools and flux of global forest ecosystem. Science 262:185–190CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Fang JY, Liu GH, Xu SL (1996) Carbon reservoir of terrestrial ecosystem in China [A]. In: Gengchen W, Yupu W (eds) Monitoring and relevant process of greenhouse gas concentration and emission [C]. China Environment Sciences Publishing House, Beijing, pp 109–128Google Scholar
  5. Fang JY, Wang GG, Liu GH, Xu SL (1998) Forest biomass of China: an estimate based on the biomass–volume relationship. Ecol Appl 8(4):1084–1091Google Scholar
  6. Fang JY, Chen AP, Peng CH, Zhao SQ, Ci LJ (2001) Changes in forest biomass carbon storage in China between 1949 and 1998. Science 292:2320–2322CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Fang JY, Guo ZD, Piao SL, Chen AP (2007) Terrestrial vegetation carbon sinks in China, 1981–2000. Sci China: Ser D 50(9):1341–1350CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. FAO (2010) Global Forest Resources Assessment 2010: main report. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. FAO Forestry Paper 163. Rome. pp 378Google Scholar
  9. Feng ZW, Wang XK, Wu G (1999) Biomass and primary productivity of forest ecosystems in China. Science Press, BeijingGoogle Scholar
  10. Goodale CL, Apps MJ, Birdsey RA, Field CB, Heath LS, Houghton RA, Jenkins JC, Kohlmaier GH, Kurz W, Liu SR, Nabuurs G, Nilsson S, Shvidenko AZ (2002) Forest carbon sinks in the Northern Hemisphere. Ecol Appl 12(3):891–899CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Guo ZD, Fang JY, Pan YD, Richard RA (2010) Inventory-based estimates of forest biomass carbon stocks in China: a comparison of three methods. Forest Ecol Manage 259:1225–1231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hyvonen R, Agren GI, Linder S, Persson T, Cotrufo MF (2007) The likely impact of elevated CO2, nitrogen deposition, increased temperature and management on carbon sequestration in temperate and boreal forest ecosystems: a literature review. New Phytol 173:463–480CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Iwaki E (1983) Regional distribution of phytomass and net primary production in Japan. In: Ikushuna I (ed) Contemporary ecology of Japan. Kyoritsu Syobban, Tokyo, pp 41–48Google Scholar
  14. Jin XH, Liu HG, Song YC (1990) A study on the productivity of secondary shrub thicket and shrub-grassland in Yixian County, Anhui Province. Acta Phytoecol ET Geobot Sin 14(3):267–273Google Scholar
  15. Ju WM, Chen JM, Harvey D, Wang SQ (2007) Future carbon balance of China’s forests under climate change and increasing CO2. J Environ Manage 85:538–562CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Li XD, Yi MJ, Son Y, Jin GZ, Han SS (2010) Forest biomass carbon accumulation in Korea from 1954 to 2007. Scand J Forest Res 25:554–563CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Luo TX (1996) The distribution patterns and modeling of biomass and net primary production in China Main Forests. Dissertation. Chinese Academy of Sciences, BeijingGoogle Scholar
  18. Myneni RB, Dong J, Tucker CJ, Kaufmann RK, Kauppi PE, Liski J, Zhou LM, Alexeyev V, Hughes MK (2001) A large carbon sink in the woody biomass of Northern forests. PNAS 98:14784–14789CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Nie DP (1994) Structural dynamics of bamboo forest stands. Sci Silv Sin 30(3):201–208Google Scholar
  20. Pan YD, Luo TX, Birdsey R, Hom J, Melillo J (2004) New estimates of carbon storage and sequestration in China’s forests: effects of age-class and method on inventory-based carbon estimation. Clim Chang 67:211–236CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Pan YD, Birdsey RA, Fang JY, Houghton RA, Kauppi PE, Kurz WA (2011) A large and persistent carbon sink in the world’s forests. Science 333:988–993CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Piao SL, Fang JY, Zhu B, Tan K (2005) Forest biomass carbon stocks in China over the past 2 decades: Estimation based on integrated inventory and satellite data. J Geophys Res 110:G01006CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Ren Y, Wei XH, Zhang L, Cui SH, Chen F, Xiong YZ, Xie PP (2011) Potential for forest vegetation carbon storage in Fujian Province, China, determined from forest inventories. Plant Soil 345:125–140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Smith JE, Heath LS, Jenkins JC (2002) Forest tree volume to biomass models and estimates for live and standing dead trees of U.S. forest. USDA Forest Service. Gen Tech Rep NE-298, p 57Google Scholar
  25. Teobaldelli M, Somogyi Z, Migliavacca M, Usoltsev VA (2009) Generalized functions of biomass expansion factors for conifers and broadleaved by stand age, growing stock and site index. Forest Ecol Manage 257:1004–1013CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Wang S, Chen JM, Ju WM, Feng XF, Chen MZ, Chen PQ, Yu GR (2007) Carbon sinks and sources of China’s forests during 1901–2001. J Environ Manage 85:524–537CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Wang XP, Fang JY, Zhu B (2008) Forest biomass and root-shoot allocation in northeast China. Forest Ecol Manage 255:4007–4020CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Wang B, Liu MC, Zhang B (2009) Dynamics of net production of Chinese forest vegetation based on forest inventory data. Forest Resour Manage 1:35–43Google Scholar
  29. Wang B, Huang JY, Yang XS, Zhang B, Liu MC (2010) Estimation of biomass, net primary production and net ecosystem production of China’s forests based on the 1999–2003 National Forest Inventory. Scand J Forest Res 25:544–553CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Xu XL, Cao MK, Li KR (2007) Temporal-spatial dynamics of carbon storage of forest vegetation in China. Prog Geog 26(6):1–10Google Scholar
  31. Zhao M, Zhou GS (2004) Carbon storage of forest vegetation and its relationship with climate factors. Sci Geogr Sin 24(1):50–54Google Scholar
  32. Zhao M, Zhou GS (2006) Carbon storage of forest vegetation in China and its relationship with climatic factors. Clim Chang 74:175–189CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chunhua Zhang
    • 1
  • Weimin Ju
    • 1
  • Jing M. Chen
    • 1
  • Mei Zan
    • 1
  • Dengqiu Li
    • 1
  • Yanlian Zhou
    • 2
  • Xiqun Wang
    • 3
  1. 1.International Institute for Earth System ScienceNanjing UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.School of Geographic and Oceanographic SciencesNanjing UniversityNanjingChina
  3. 3.Planning and Design Institute of Forest Products IndustryState Forestry Administration of ChinaBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations