Studies have explored the carbon storage and sequestration potential of forest vegetation in China with different models. However, few studies have investigated the potential impacts of further temperature increases on the distribution and carbon sequestration of natural vegetation.
Researchers from Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) adopted the space-for-time method based on climax theory to predict and understand the vegetation distribution and carbon sequestration potential (CSP) of projected temperature increases within Yunnan Province.
They compiled a map of the current distribution of vegetation in Yunnan Province based on data from remote sensing imagery from the Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS) from 2008 to 2011. They then used a classification and regression tree (CART) model to predict the potential distribution of the main forest vegetation types in Yunnan Province and estimate the changes in carbon storage and carbon sequestration potential (CSP) in response to increasing temperature.
They found that the carbon sequestration potential of coniferous forests was more strongly influenced by temperature increases than the carbon sequestration potential of deciduous forests.
Temperature increases can influence the carbon storage and carbon sequestration potential in Yunnan Province. Warm-hot coniferous forests have a large current carbon storage and carbon sequestration potential, and this vegetation type is especially sensitive to temperature increases of 2 °C compared with other forest vegetation types.
The forest vegetation in Yunnan Province has high carbon density, carbon storage and carbon sequestration potential. Temperature increases of 2 °C will sharply decrease the carbon sequestration potential of the forests in Yunnan Province.
The results indicate that temperature increases can influence the CSP in Yunnan Province, and the largest impact emerged in the 2 °C increase scenario.
The study entitled “Responses of the Carbon Storage and Sequestration Potential of Forest Vegetation to Temperature Increases in Yunnan Province, SW China” has been published in Forests.
ZHANG Yiping Ph.D
Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Mengla, Yunnan 666303, China