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Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2018-242
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2018-242
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 07 Jun 2018

Submitted as: research article | 07 Jun 2018

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This preprint has been withdrawn by the authors.

Changes in carbon stocks of Fagus forest ecosystems along an altitudinal gradient on Mt. Fanjingshan in Southwest China

Qiong Cai1, Chengjun Ji1, Xuli Zhou1, Wenjing Fang1, Tianli Zheng1, Jiangling Zhu1, Lei Shi2, Haibo Li2, Jianxiao Zhu1, and Jingyun Fang1 Qiong Cai et al.
  • 1Department of Ecology, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, and Key Laboratory for Earth Surface Processes of the Ministry of Education, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • 2Administration Bureau of Guizhou Fanjingshan National Nature Reserve, Jiangkou 554400, Guizhou, China

Abstract. There are four components of carbon (C) pools in a natural forest ecosystem: vegetation, soil, litter and woody debris. Quantifying these C pools and their contributions to forest ecosystems is important in understanding C cycling in forests. Here, we investigated these four C pools in nine beech (Fagus L., Fagaceae) forests along an altitudinal gradient in southwest China. We found that the C pools of beech forest ecosystems ranged from 190.7 to 503.9 Mg C ha−1, mainly attributed to vegetation C (accounting for 33.7–73.9 %) and soil C (accounting for 24.6–65.4 %). No more than 4 % of ecosystem C pools were stored in woody debris (0.25–3.4 %) and litter (0.2–0.7 %). Ecosystem C storage increased significantly with altitude, where the vegetation and woody debris C pools increased concomitantly with increasing altitude, while those of litter and soil exhibited no significant variations. The forest stand age was found to be a key driver of such altitudinal patterns, especially for vegetation C storage. The present study provides reliable data for understanding the structure and function of Chinese beech forests, and emphasizes the importance of considering the influence of stand age on C accumulation.

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Qiong Cai et al.
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Short summary
Quantifying different carbon (C) pools in forest ecosystems is important in understanding C cycling in forests. However, the C pools of Chinese beech (Fagus) forests have seldom been studied. Here, the altitudinal patterns of four C pools in beech forests in Southwest China were investigated, and the stand age was proved to be a key factor shaping such patterns. Thus, this study provides data for understanding Chinese beech forests and stresses the importance of stand age in C accumulation.
Quantifying different carbon (C) pools in forest ecosystems is important in understanding C...
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