Ecological Research

, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 91–101 | Cite as

Role of coarse woody debris in the carbon cycle of Takayama forest, central Japan

  • Toshiyuki Ohtsuka
  • Yoko Shizu
  • Mitsuru Hirota
  • Yuichiro Yashiro
  • Jia Shugang
  • Yasuo Iimura
  • Hiroshi Koizumi
Original Article


Coarse woody debris (CWD) is an important component of the forest carbon cycle, acting as a carbon pool and a source of CO2 in temperate forest ecosystems. We used a soda-lime closed-chamber method to measure CO2 efflux from downed CWD (diameter ≥5 cm) and to examine CWD respiration (R CWD) under field conditions over 1 year in a temperate secondary pioneer forest in Takayama forest. We also investigated tree mortality (input to the CWD pool) from the data obtained from the annual tree census, which commenced in 2000. We developed an exponential function of temperature to predict R CWD in each decay class (R 2 = 0.81–0.97). The sensitivity of R CWD to changing temperature, expressed as Q 10, ranged from 2.12 to 2.92 and was relatively high in decay class III. Annual C flux from CWD (F CWD) was extrapolated using continuous air temperature measurements and CWD necromass pools in the three decay classes. F CWD was 3.0 (class I), 17.8 (class II), and 13.7 g C m−2 year−1 (class III) and totaled 34 g C m−2 year−1 in 2009. Annual input to CWD averaged 77 g C m−2 year−1 from 2000 to 2009. The budget of the CWD pool in the Takayama forest, including tree mortality inputs and respiratory outputs, was 0.43 Mg C ha−1 year−1 (net C sink) owing to high tree mortality in the mature pioneer forest. The potential CWD sink is important for the carbon cycle in temperate successional forests.


AsiaFlux network CO2 efflux CWD Net ecosystem production Soda-lime 



We thank Drs. H. Kondo, S. Murayama of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, and Dr. N. Saigusa of the National Institute for Environmental Studies for their support with meteorological observations. We also thank Mr. K. Kurumado and Mr. Y. Miyamato of the Takayama Research Station, Gifu University, for their great help in field measurements. This study was supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research, and A3 Foresight Program from Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Japan.


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Copyright information

© The Ecological Society of Japan 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Toshiyuki Ohtsuka
    • 1
  • Yoko Shizu
    • 1
  • Mitsuru Hirota
    • 2
  • Yuichiro Yashiro
    • 1
  • Jia Shugang
    • 3
  • Yasuo Iimura
    • 1
  • Hiroshi Koizumi
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute for Basin Ecosystem StudiesGifu UniversityGifuJapan
  2. 2.Graduate School of Life and Environmental SciencesUniversity of TsukubaTsukubaJapan
  3. 3.Institute of Tibetan Plateau ResearchChinese Academy of ScienceBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.Department of Biology, Faculty of Education and Integrated Arts and SciencesWaseda UniversityTokyoJapan

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