Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2008, Vol. 32 ›› Issue (6): 1294-1300.DOI: 10.3773/j.issn.1005-264x.2008.06.010

• Original article • Previous Articles     Next Articles


MA Yuan-Dan1, JIANG Hong1,2,*(), YU Shu-Quan2, ZHOU Guo-Mo2, WANG Bin2, PENG Shao-Lin3, PENG Chang-Hui4, CHANG Jie5, WEI Xiao-Hua6   

  1. 1International Institute for Earth System Science, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
    2International Research Center of Spatial Ecology and Ecosystem Ecology, Zhejiang Forestry University, Lin’an, Zhejiang 311300, China
    3State Key Laboratory of Biocontrol, School of Life Science, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
    4Institute of Environment Sciences, University of Quebec at Montreal, Case Postale 8888, Succursale Centre-Ville, Montréal, Québec, H3C3P8, Canada
    5College of Life Science, Zhejiang University. Hangzhou 310058, China
    6University of British Columbia, British Columbia, Canada
  • Received:2008-01-17 Accepted:2008-06-03 Online:2008-01-17 Published:2008-11-30
  • Contact: JIANG Hong


Aims A living fossil is the nearest extant equivalent of an extinct species. Our objective is to utilize the biomass and productivity of living-fossil ecosystems to estimate the evolutionary trend in carbon sequestration capacity of terrestrial ecosystems.

Methods We investigated biomass and productivity of a living-fossil tree fern (Alsophila spinulosa) ecosystem in Sichuan Province of China using standard tree sampling methods.

Important findings The biomass and productivity of this living-fossil ecosystem ((36.151 ± 8.159) Mg C·hm -2 and (2.535 ± 0.174) Mg C·hm -2·a-1, respectively) were smaller than that in current gymnosperm- or angiosperm-dominated ecosystems. This provides insight into the evolutionary trend in paleo-ecosystem carbon sequestration capacity and, hence, into understanding global carbon balance.

Key words: living fossil, Alsophila spinulosa, carbon sequestration capacity