Chin J Plant Ecol
2017, 41 (
Aims Pinus sylvestris var. mongolica is one of the main afforestation tree species in North China. It is important to study the characters of growth and carbon (C) sequestration, which can provide scientific basis for the sustainable management. Therefore, our study aims at quantifying the growth characters and C sequestration in these middle-aged plantations, and to investigate the effect of diameter at breast height (DBH) on those dynamics. Methods We selected a middle-aged P. sylvestris var. mongolica plantation as our permanent experimental plot, which is located in Saihanba, Hebei Province, China. DBH and height of all stands in this plot were measured in 2006 and 2016. Based on the anatomical trees and allometric equation, we calculated C density and sequestration from 2006 to 2016. We also analyzed C sequestration in different DBH groups in the study area. Important findings Our results showed that the carbon sink of those middle-age (age between 28 and 38 years old) plantation would be enhanced in future, and there were differences in characters of growth and C sequestration among DBH groups. The decadal increment rate of DBH and height were 4.19% and 1.97%, and the increment rate was the lowest in the 0-10 cm DBH class. The mortality rate of the plantation was 8.39%, with 7.82% mortality occurred in 0-10 cm tree size class. The forest stands biomass carbon stocks in 2006 and 2016 were 59.04 and 109.64 t?hm-2, respectively, and almost 87.1% of the carbon stocks were in the middle DBH-class, even though the number of trees only accounted for nearly 59.2%. The small class’s number of trees accounted for 39.1%, while the carbon stocks accounted for 8.3%. Our results also demonstrate that forests in Saihanba would continue to act as a carbon sink in the coming years. The variations among DBH groups highlights that the diameter class should be taken into consideration while assess the ecological efficiency and carbon sequestration capacity in a certain area.