Carbon dynamics and stability between native Masson pine and exotic slash pine plantations in subtropical China

Ma, Zeqing; Hartmann, Henrik; Wang, Huimin; Li, Qingkang; Wang, Yidong; Li, Shenggong
March 2014
European Journal of Forest Research;Mar2014, Vol. 133 Issue 2, p307
Academic Journal
Afforestation and ecological restoration have often been carried out with fast-growing exotic tree species because of their high apparent growth and yield. Moreover, fast-growing forest plantations have become an important component of mitigation measures to offset greenhouse gas emissions. However, information on the long-term performance of exotic and fast-growing species is often lacking especially with respect to their vulnerability to disturbance compared to native species. We compared carbon (C) storage and C accumulation rates in vegetation (above- and belowground) and soil in 21-year-old exotic slash pine ( Pinus elliottii Engelm.) and native Masson pine ( Pinus massoniana Lamb.) plantations, as well as their responses to a severe ice storm in 2008. Our results showed that mean C storage was 116.77 ± 7.49 t C ha in slash pine plantation and 117.89 ± 8.27 t C ha in Masson pine plantation. The aboveground C increased at a rate of 2.18 t C hayear in Masson pine and 2.23 t C ha year in slash pine plantation, and there was no significant difference in C storage accumulation between the two plantation types. However, we observed significant differences in ice storm damage with nearly 7.5 % of aboveground biomass loss in slash pine plantation compared with only 0.3 % loss in Masson pine plantation. Our findings indicated that the native pine species was more resistant to ice storm because of their adaptive biological traits (tree shape, crown structure, and leaf surface area). Overall, the native pine species might be a safer choice for both afforestation and ecological restoration in our study region.


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