Above- And Belowground Ecosystem Biomass And Carbon Pools In An Age-Sequence Of Temperate Pine Plantation Forests

  • Sites: CA-TP1, CA-TP2, CA-TP3, CA-TP4
  • Publication Type: JOUR
  • Authors: Peichl, M.; Arain, M. A.

  • We assessed the successional development of above- and belowground ecosystem biomass and carbon (C) pools in an age-sequence of four White pine (Pinus strobus L.) plantation stands (2-, 15-, 30-, and 65-years-old) in Southern Ontario, Canada. Biomass and C stocks of above- and belowground live and dead tree biomass, understorey and forest ground vegetation, forest floor C (LFH-layer), and woody debris were determined from plot-level inventories and destructive tree sampling. Small root biomass (<5 mm) and mineral soil C stocks were estimated from soil cores. Aboveground tree biomass became the major ecosystem C pool with increasing age, reaching 0.5, 66, 92, and 176 t ha−1 in the 2-, 15-, 30-, and 65-year-old stands, respectively. Tree root biomass increased from 0.1 to 10, 18, 38 t ha−1 in the 2-, 15-, 30-, and 65-year-old stands, respectively, contributing considerably to the total ecosystem C in the three older stands. Forest floor C was 0.8, 7.5, 5.4, and 12.1 t C ha−1 in the 2-, 15-, 30-, and 65-year-old stands, respectively, indicating an increase during the first two decades, but no further age-effect during the later growth phase. Mineral soil C was age-independent with 37.2, 33.9, 39.1, and 36.7 t C ha−1 in the 2-, 15-, 30-, and 65-year-old stands, respectively. Aboveground ecosystem C increased with age from 3 to 40, 52, and 100 t C ha−1 in the 2-, 15-, 30-, and 65-year-old stands, respectively, due to an increase in aboveground tree biomass. Belowground ecosystem C remained similiar in the early decades after establishment with 37, 39, and 39 t C ha−1 in the 2-, 15-, and 30-year-old stands, but increased to 56 t C ha−1 in the 65-year-old stand due to an increase in root biomass. The difference in total ecosystem C between the 2- and 65-year-old stand was 116 t C ha−1. Our results highlight the importance of considering the successional development of forest ecosystem C pools, when estimating C sink potentials over their complete life cycle.


  • Journal: Agricultural And Forest Meteorology
  • Funding Agency: —
  • Citation Information:
  • Volume: 140
  • No: 1-4
  • Pages: 51-63
  • Publication Year: 2006
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.agrformet.2006.08.004