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Evaluation of forest structure, biomass and carbon sequestration in subtropical pristine forests of SW China

First Author: Syed MN
Abstract:

Very old natural forests comprising the species of Fagaceae (Lithocarpus xylocarpus, Castanopsis wattii, Lithocarpushancei) have been prevailing since years in the Ailaoshan Mountain Nature Reserve (AMNR) SW China. Within these forest trees, density is quite variable. We studied the forest structure, stand dynamics and carbon density at two different sites to know the main factors which drives carbon sequestration process in old forests by considering the following questions: How much is the carbon density in these forest trees of different DBH (diameter at breast height)? How much carbon potential possessed by dominant species of these forests? How vegetation carbon is distributed in these forests? Which species shows high carbon sequestration? What are the physiochemical properties of soil in these forests? Five-year (2005–2010) tree growth data from permanently established plots in the AMNR was analysed for species composition, density, stem diameter (DBH), height and carbon (C) density both in aboveground and belowground vegetation biomass. Our study indicated that among two comparative sites, overall 54 species of 16 different families were present. The stem density, height, C density and soil properties varied significantly with time among the sites showing uneven distribution across the forests. Among the dominant species, L. xylocarpus represents 30% of the total carbon on site 1 while C. wattii represents 50% of the total carbon on site 2. The average C density ranged from 176.35 to 243.97 t C ha−1. The study emphasized that there is generous degree to expand the carbon stocking in this AMNR through scientific management gearing towards conservation of old trees and planting of potentially high carbon sequestering species on good site quality areas.

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PubYear: Jan 2017
Volume: online
Publication Name: Environmental Science and Pollution Research
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