Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2016, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (4): 327-340.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2015.1088

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Carbon storage of the forests and its spatial pattern in Nei Mongol, China

Xiao-Qiong HUANG1,2, Cun-Lin XIN1, Zhong-Min HU2,*(), Gang-Tie LI3, Tong-Hui ZHANG4, Wei ZHAO2, Hao YANG2, Lei-Min ZHANG2, Qun GUO2, Yong-Jie YUE3, Run-Hong Gao3, Zhi-Yan WU5, Zhi-Gang YAN6, Xin-Ping LIU4, Yu-Qiang LI4, Sheng-Gong LI2   

  1. 1Department Geography and Environmental Sciences, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou 730070, China

    2Laboratory of Ecosystem Network Observation and Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China

    3College of Ecology and Environmental Science, Inner Mongolia Agricultural University, Hohhot 010018, China

    4Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China

    5Chifeng Institute of Forestry Science, Chifeng, Nei Mongol 024000, China
    6Daxing’anling Academy of Forestry Science of Inner Mongolia, Yakeshi, Nei Mongol 022150, China
  • Received:2015-03-17 Accepted:2015-10-24 Online:2016-04-29 Published:2016-04-30
  • Contact: Zhong-Min HU


Forest carbon storage in Nei Mongol plays a significant role in national terrestrial carbon budget due to its large area in China. Our objectives were to estimate the carbon storage in the forest ecosystems in Nei Mongol and to quantify its spatial pattern.
Field survey and sampling were conducted at 137 sites that distributed evenly across the forest types in the study region. At each site, the ecosystem carbon density was estimated thorough sampling and measuring different pools of soil (0-100 cm) and vegetation, including biomass of tree, grass, shrub, and litter. Regional carbon storage was calculated with the estimated carbon density for each forest type.
Important findings
Carbon storage of vegetation layer in forests in Nei Mongol was 787.8 Tg C, with the biomass of tree, litter, herbaceous and shrub accounting for 93.5%, 3.0%, 2.7% and 0.8%, respectively. Carbon density of vegetation layer was 40.4 t·hm-2, with 35.6 t·hm-2 in trees, 2.9 t·hm-2 in litter, 1.2 t·hm-2 in herbaceous and 0.6 t·hm-2 in shrubs. In comparison, carbon storage of soil layer in forests in Nei Mongol was 2449.6 Tg C, with 79.8% distributed in the first 30 cm. Carbon density of soil layer was 144.4 t·hm-2. Carbon storage of forest ecosystem in Nei Mongol was 3237.4 Tg C, with vegetation and soil accounting for 24.3% and 75.7%, respectively. Carbon density of forest ecosystems in Nei Mongol was 184.5 t·hm-2. Carbon density of soil layer was positively correlated with that of vegetation layer. Spatially, both carbon storage and carbon density were higher in the eastern area, where the climate is more humid. Forest reserves and artificial afforestations can significantly improve the capacity of regional carbon sink.

Key words: carbon storage, carbon density, spatial distribution, forest ecosystems, Nei Mongol