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Data from: Tree species richness increases ecosystem carbon storage in subtropical forests

Citation

Liu, Xiaojuan et al. (2018), Data from: Tree species richness increases ecosystem carbon storage in subtropical forests, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.t9t0sc4

Abstract

Forest ecosystems are an integral component of the global carbon cycle as they take up and release large amounts of C in short time (C flux) or accumulate it over longer time (C stock). However, there remains uncertainty about whether and in which direction C fluxes and in particular C stocks may differ between forests of high vs. low species richness. Based on a comprehensive dataset derived from field-based measurements, we tested the effect of species richness (3–20 tree species) and stand age (22–116 years) on six compartments of above- and belowground C stocks and four components of C fluxes in subtropical forests in south-east China. Across forest stands, total C stock was 149 ± 12 Mg ha-1 with richness explaining 28.5% and age explaining 29.4% of variation in this measure. Species-rich stands had higher C stocks and fluxes than stands with low richness; and, in addition, old stands had higher C stocks than young ones. Overall, for each additional tree species the total C stock increased by 6.4%. Our results provide comprehensive evidence for diversity-mediated above- and belowground C sequestration in species-rich subtropical forests in south-east China. Therefore, afforestation policies in this region and elsewhere should consider a change from the current focus on monocultures to multi-species plantations to increase C fixation and thus slow increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations and global warming.

Usage Notes

Location

China