Carbon Storage and Its Spatial Pattern of  Terrestrial Ecosystem in China

  • 1 Key Laboratory of Ecosystem Network Observation and Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2 Department of Environment and Resources Management, Chifeng University, Chifeng 024000, China;
    3 Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China

Received date: 2010-04-29

  Revised date: 2010-05-07

  Online published: 2010-06-30


Process mechanisms of carbon storage and carbon cycle in earth system are the scientific foundation for analyzing the cause of climate change, forecasting the climate change trend, and making mitigation and adaptation countermeasures, which have attracted great attention from the scientific community and international community. Since the late 1980s, Chinese scientists have carried out a great deal of research on the terrestrial ecosystem carbon cycle, and have made great progress in many fields. In this paper, we review the history of the research on the terrestrial carbon cycle in China, summarize the results of the carbon storage in terrestrial ecosystems and its spatial patterns, evaluate the uncertainties of the research, and put forward important scientific issues which are needed to be addressed urgently. Overall, the research on the carbon cycle of terrestrial ecosystems in China consists of four stages of development, i.e., the early carbon cycle research, the comprehensive study on the carbon cycle at regional scale, the experimental research on the adaptation of ecosystem carbon cycle to climate change, and the coupling cycles of C-N-H2O and the regional regulation and control. Most studies indicate that carbon storage of terrestrial ecosystems in China and its spatial pattern are controlled by temperature and precipitation. About 97.95–118.93 Pg carbon is stored in soil, forest and grassland in China. Since the mid 1970s, many management measures such as afforestation and forest management, grassland protection, farming system reformation and conservation tillage, have played important roles in carbon sequestration. However, large uncertainty exists among the evaluation results with various methods. In the future we should focus on the integrated monitoring system of the dynamics of carbon storage and carbon sink, foresight studies on the coupling cycles of ecosystem C-N-H2O and its regional regulation and control, quantitative assessment on the carbon budget and the potential of carbon sink of ecosystems in China, the evaluation of the economic benefit of various technologies for increasing carbon sink of typical ecosystems, and the measurable, reportable and verifiable scientific data and technical supports for establishing the policy framework of greenhouse gas management and carbon trading at national scale.

Cite this article

YU Guirui,LI Xuanran,WANG Qiufeng,LI Shenggong . Carbon Storage and Its Spatial Pattern of  Terrestrial Ecosystem in China[J]. Journal of Resources and Ecology, 2010 , 1(2) : 97 -109 . DOI: 10.3969/j.issn.1674-764x.2010.02.001


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