Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2018, Vol. 42 ›› Issue (7): 703-712.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2018.0064

• Research Articles •     Next Articles

Ecosystem carbon stock and within-system distribution in successional Fagus lucida forests in Mt. Yueliang, Guizhou, China

ZHOU Xu-Li,CAI Qiong,XIONG Xin-Yu,FANG Wen-Jing,ZHU Jian-Xiao,ZHU Jiang-Ling,FANG Jing-Yun,JI Cheng-Jun()   

  1. College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, and Key Laboratory for Earth Surface Processes of the Ministry of Education, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • Online:2018-07-20 Published:2018-06-01
  • Contact: Cheng-Jun JI
  • Supported by:
    Supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China(2017YFA0605101);the National Science and Technology Basic Project of China(2015FY210200);the National Natural Science Foundation of China(31700374)


Aims Stand age plays a vital role in carbon (C) stock and its distribution (vegetation, woody debris, litter and soil) within forest ecosystems. Subtropical forests are pivotal in the C cycling of terrestrial ecosystems. In subtropical China, Fagus trees are widely distributed and of great importance. However, the analyses of C storage in chronosequent Fagus forests have not been well performed.

Methods Nine Fagus lucida forests at three succession stages (33, 82 and 208 year-old) were studied in Mt. Yueliang, Guizhou Province, and their C stocks and distributions within the forests were investigated and estimated.

Important findings Ecosystem C stock increased significantly with increasing stand age, which was (186.9 ± 46.0), (265.8 ± 82.3) and (515.1 ± 176.4) Mg·hm-2 in the 33, 82 and 208 year-old forests, respectively. The increase in the C stock appeared mainly attributed from increase in vegetation C stocks that accounted for 32%-79% of the total C stock. The woody debris and litter carbon stocks also increased significantly with increasing stand age, but accounted for <1% of the total C stock. While soil C stock showed no significant change with increasing stand age, it decreased its contribution to the total C stock (from 67% to 20%). These results confirmed the importance of stand age on C storage and the dynamic reallocations in the subtropical forests. Results from this study also added additional evidences in understanding the significance of disturbance and land use in C accumulation.

Key words: carbon stock, Fagus lucida forests, stand age, vegetation, soil, litter, woody debris