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Substantial amounts of carbon are sequestered during dry periods in an old-growth subtropical forest in South China
- Yan, Junhua, Liu, Xingzhao, Tang, Xuli, Yu, Guirui, Zhang, Leiming, Chen, Qingqing, Li, Kun
- Journal of forest research 2013 v.18 no.1 pp. 21-30
- carbon, carbon sequestration, carbon sinks, dry season, eddy covariance, net ecosystem production, old-growth forests, primary productivity, soil respiration, wet season, China
- A number of continuous eddy covariance measurements and long-term biomass inventories had proved that old-growth forests are carbon sinks worldwide. The present study estimated the net ecosystem productivity (NEP) for an old-growth subtropical forest at the Dinghushan Biosphere Reserve in South China to investigate the temporal pattern of carbon sequestration, both seasonally and annually. The measured NEP over 7 years (from 2003 to 2009) showed that this forest was a net carbon sink, ranging from 230 (in 2008) to 489 g C m⁻² year⁻¹ (in 2004). The greatest value of NEP was found in the driest year and the lowest value in the wettest year during the study period. Within a year, NEP during the dry season was about 81.4 % higher than for the wet season. Accordingly, the dry season at seasonal scale and dry years at interannual scale are key periods for carbon sequestration in this forest. The strong seasonality of ecosystem or soil respiration (ER or SR) compared with gross primary productivity (GPP) resulted in substantial amounts of carbon being sequestered during dry seasons. A decrease of GPP and an increase of ER or SR demonstrated the lower carbon uptake in rainy years. From this study, we conclude that GPP and living biomass carbon increment are not overriding parameters controlling NEP. The variations in ER or SR driven by the rainfall scheme were the dominant factor determining the magnitude of NEP in this forest in South China.