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Climatic Change

, Volume 67, Issue 2–3, pp 211–236 | Cite as

‘New Estimates of Carbon Storage and Sequestration in China’S Forests: Effects of Age–Class and Method On Inventory-Based Carbon Estimation’

  • Yude Pan
  • Tianxiang Luo
  • Richard Birdsey
  • John Hom
  • Jerry Melillo
Article

Abstract

We developed a volume-to-biomass method based on age groups representative of forest development stages to estimate live tree biomass, C, and biomass and C accumulation rates of China’s forests between 1973 and 1993. The data were from plot-level forest inventory, national-level inventory statistics, and ecological site studies specified to estimate biomass in different tree components. Our results indicate that carbon storage in China’s forests was 4.34 Pg C in the early 1990s, an increase of 13% since the early 1970s. The annual forest C sequestration rate from the late 1980s to early 1990s was 0.068 Pg C/yr and approximately four- to five-times higher than in the 1970s and 1980s. The large C sink in China’s forests in the early 1990s was likely related to age structure changes that had developed to more productive stages, a consequence of reforestation and afforestation programs from the 1960s. The results were compared with other C store estimates, which were based on the same inventory data. Various methods can produce estimates that differ in the direction of C flux as well as its magnitude. Separating age groups with the volume–biomass method could cause a 27% difference in estimated carbon pools but an 89% difference in C sequestration rates whereas the biomass density method would provide an estimate that differs by 65% in the C pools.

Keywords

Biomass Carbon Storage Carbon Pool Forest Inventory Live Tree 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yude Pan
    • 1
  • Tianxiang Luo
    • 2
  • Richard Birdsey
    • 1
  • John Hom
    • 1
  • Jerry Melillo
    • 3
  1. 1.USDA Forest Service, Northern Global Change ProgramU.S.A.
  2. 2.Institute of Geographical Science and Natural Resources ResearchChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingP.R. China
  3. 3.Marine Biological LaboratoryThe Ecosystem CenterWoods HoleU.S.A.

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