Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2016, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (4): 374-384.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2015.0152

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Carbon storage and potentials of the broad-leaved forest in alpine region of the Qinghai- Xizang Plateau, China

Jian WANG1,2, Gen-Xu WANG1,*(), Chang-Ting WANG3, Fei RAN1, Rui-Ying CHANG1   

  1. 1Key Laboratory of Mountain Surface Processes and Ecological Regulation of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041, China

    2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    and
    3College of Life Science and Technology, Southwest University for Nationalities, Chengdu 610041, China
  • Received:2015-04-28 Accepted:2015-11-10 Online:2016-04-29 Published:2016-04-30
  • Contact: Gen-Xu WANG

Abstract:

Aims
Our objective was to explore the vegetation carbon storages and their variations in the broad-leaved forests in the alpine region of the Qinghai-Xizang Plateau that includes Qinghai Province and Xizang Autonomous Region.
Methods
Based on forest resource inventory data and field sampling, this paper studied the carbon storage, its sequestration rate, and the potentials in the broad-leaved forests in the alpine region of the Qinghai-Xizang Plateau.
Important findings
The vegetation carbon storage in the broad-leaved forest accounted for 310.70 Tg in 2011, with the highest value in the broad-leaved mixed forest and the lowest in Populus forest among the six broad-leaved forests that include Quercus, Betula, Populus, other hard broad-leaved species, other soft broad-leaved species, and the broadleaved mixed forest. The carbon density of the broad-leaved forest was 89.04 Mg·hm-2, with the highest value in other hard broad-leaved species forest and the lowest in other soft broad-leaved species forest. The carbon storage and carbon density in different layers of the forests followed a sequence of overstory layer > understory layer > litter layer > grass layer > dead wood layer, which all increased with forest age. In addition, the carbon storage of broad-leaved forest increased from 304.26 Tg in 2001 to 310.70 Tg in 2011. The mean annual carbon sequestration and its rate were 0.64 Tg·a-1 and 0.19 Mg·hm-2·a-1, respectively. The maximum and minimum of the carbon sequestration rate were respectively found in other soft broad-leaved species forest and other hard broad-leaved species forest, with the highest value in the mature forest and the lowest in the young forest. Moreover, the carbon sequestration potential in the tree layer of broad-leaved forest reached 19.09 Mg·hm-2 in 2011, with the highest value found in Quercus forest and the lowest in Betula forest. The carbon storage increased gradually during three inventory periods, indicating that the broad-leaved forest was well protected to maintain a healthy growth by the forest protection project of Qinghai Province and Xizang Autonomous Region.

Key words: carbon storage, carbon sequestration rate, carbon sequestration potential, broad-leaved forest, alpine area of Qinghai-Xizang Plateau