Biomass carbon sequestration by planted forests in China

Abstract

The planted forest area and carbon sequestration have increased significantly in China, because of large-scale reforestation and afforestation in the past decades. In this study, we developed an age-based volume-to-biomass method to estimate the carbon storage by planted forests in China in the period of 1973–2003 based on the data from 1209 field plots and national forest inventories. The results show that the total carbon storage of planted forests was 0.7743 Pg C in 1999–2003, increased by 3.08 times since the early 1970s. The carbon density of planted forests varied from 10.6594 Mg/ha to 23.9760 Mg/ha and increased by 13.3166 Mg/ha from 1973–1976 to 1999–2003. Since the early 1970s, the planted forests in China have been always a carbon sink, and the annual rate of carbon sequestration was 0.0217 Pg C/yr. The carbon storage and densities of planted forests varied greatly in space and time. The carbon storage of Middle South China was in the lead in all regions, which accounted for 23%–36% of national carbon storage. While higher C densities (from 17.79 Mg/ha to 26.05 Mg/ha) were usually found in Northeast China. The planted forests in China potentially have a high carbon sequestration since a large part of them are becoming mature and afforestation continues to grow.

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Correspondence to Xinliang Xu.

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Foundation item: Under the auspices of National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 40601079), National Key Project of Scientific and Technical Supporting Programs (No. 2006BAC08B03, 2008BAC34B06)

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Xu, X., Li, K. Biomass carbon sequestration by planted forests in China. Chin. Geogr. Sci. 20, 289–297 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11769-010-0401-9

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Keywords

  • planted forest
  • forest inventory
  • carbon storage
  • carbon density
  • carbon sequestration