iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Patterns of carbon allocation in a chronosequence of Caragana intermedia plantations in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

Yun Tian (1-2), Jixin Cao (3), Xiaohui Yang (2)   , Nan Shan (2), Zhongjie Shi (2)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 8, Issue 6, Pages 756-764 (2015)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor1193-007
Published: Apr 08, 2015 - Copyright © 2015 SISEF

Research Articles

Revegetation is being considered as a mitigation option to improve the ecological environment and reduce the atmospheric carbon (C) dioxide concentrations of regions experiencing desertification. This study assessed the development of the above- and belowground ecosystem C pools in a chronosequence of four Caragana intermedia plantations (3, 12, 27, and 37 years old) in the desertified region of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China. The biomass C stock of the total shrub and under-canopy increased with stand age. The soil inorganic carbon (SIC) pool in the soil C stocks was approximately 3 to 7 times larger than the soil organic carbon (SOC) storage. Both SIC and SOC increased after revegetation. However, the contribution of SIC to the total ecosystem C stock decreased from 87% in the 3-year-old plantation to 85%, 75%, and 72% in the 12-, 27-, and 37-year-old plantations, respectively. The total ecosystem C pool exhibited a greater increase in the shrub plantations than in the mobile dunes, but the total C stock of the stands changed slightly with time. Soil C, including SOC and SIC, was the major contributor to the total ecosystem C stock for all shrub plantations. The aboveground shrub biomass became the secondary ecosystem C pool in older srands. The results of this study indicate that revegetation in desertification ecosystems has a significant impact on SIC, SOC, and total ecosystem C pools. Furthermore, the total ecosystem C pool reached a relatively stable state after sand-binding stands.


Biomass Carbon, Shrub Plantation, Soil Organic Carbon, Soil Inorganic Carbon

Authors’ address

Yun Tian
Faculty of Soil and Water Conservation, Beijing Forestry University, 100083 Beijing (China)
Yun Tian
Xiaohui Yang
Nan Shan
Zhongjie Shi
Institute of Desertification Studies, Chinese Academy of Forestry, 100091 Beijing (China)
Jixin Cao
Key Laboratory of Forest Ecology and Environment, State Forestry Administration of China, Research Institute of Forest Ecology, Environment and Protection, Chinese Academy of Forestry, 100091 Beijing (China)

Corresponding author

Xiaohui Yang


Tian Y, Cao J, Yang X, Shan N, Shi Z (2015). Patterns of carbon allocation in a chronosequence of Caragana intermedia plantations in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. iForest 8: 756-764. - doi: 10.3832/ifor1193-007

Academic Editor

Giorgio Matteucci

Paper history

Received: Dec 02, 2013
Accepted: Dec 11, 2014

First online: Apr 08, 2015
Publication Date: Dec 01, 2015
Publication Time: 3.93 months

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