Biodiversity Science ›› 2018, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (1): 27-35.doi: 10.17520/biods.2017240


• Original Papers: Ecosystem Diversity • Previous Article     Next Article

Evaluating the effectiveness of Shennongjia National Nature Reserve based on the dynamics of forest carbon pools

Shuyu Deng1, 2, Xiangzhong Dong3, Mingzhe Ma1, 2, Zhenhua Zang1, 4, Wenting Xu1, Changming Zhao1, Zongqiang Xie1, Guozhen Shen1, *()   

  1. 1 State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093
    2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049
    3 Beijing Danqing Gardening Co., Ltd, Beijing 100093
    4 Key Laboratory for Forest Resources Ecosystem Processes of Beijing, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083
  • Received:2017-09-05 Accepted:2017-12-10 Online:2018-05-05
  • Shen Guozhen
  • About author:# Co-first authors

Nature reserves are a cornerstone of global conservation strategies. However, the effectiveness of the reserve in conserving ecosystem function such as carbon storage is poorly understood. The Shennongjia National Nature Reserve is a conservation icon and has taken exceptional efforts to protect forests. It provides a unique case to address this question. Here, we quantified the carbon storage from aboveground carbon, belowground carbon, litter, coarse woody debris, and soil organic carbon inside and outside the Shennongjia National Nature Reserve between 1990 and 2010, based on inventory data and digitized historical land cover maps. The result showed that the woodland covered 92.76% of the reserve, most of which was coniferous forest (51.85%), deciduous broad-leaved forest (35.11%), and evergreen broad-leaved forest (4.47%). Between 1990 and 2010, the area of the woodland has increased 0.11%, while the area of shrubland and cropland has declined 8.85% and 6.06%, respectively. The Shennongjia National Natural Reserve has accumulated 24.24 Tg carbon (22.57-26.62 Tg C) until 2010, of which 90.68% was contributed by soil organic carbon and aboveground carbon. A total of 95% of the carbon storage in Shennongjia National Nature Reserve are contributed by evergreen broad-leaved forest, deciduous broad-leaved forest and coniferous forest. Between 1990 and 2010, the aboveground carbon pool and soil organic carbon pool has increased 14.50 kt C (11.81-18.31 kt C) and 6.84 kt C, respectively. The carbon density inside the reserve is 22.37 t C/ha higher than that outside the reserve. Our results indicated that the Shennongjia National Nature Reserve is efficiently conserving forest carbon.

Key words: Shennongjia National Nature Reserve, carbon sequestration, conservation effectiveness, forest ecosystem, carbon pool

Table 1

Land use types and their areas in Shennongjia National Nature Reserve"

Land use type
Area in 1990 (ha)
Proportion in 1990 (%)
Area in 2010 (ha)
Proportion in 2010 (%)
Evergreen broad-leaved forest
3,245.71 4.46 3,249.13 4.47
Deciduous broad-leaved forest
25,448.97 34.99 25,532.75 35.11
针叶林 Coniferous forest 37,694.08 51.83 37,713.32 51.85
Coniferous and broad-leaved mixed forest
622.14 0.86 624.78 0.86
灌木林 Shrubland 380.97 0.52 347.26 0.48
耕地 Cropland 2,056.3 2.83 1,931.7 2.66
其他 Other 3,281.99 4.51 3,331.22 4.58

Fig. 1

Carbon density of different carbon pools of main forestry lands in Shennongjia National Nature Reserve"

Table 2

Carbon storage of different carbon pools in Shennongjia National Nature Reserve between 1990 and 2010"

Litter carbon
Coarse woody
debris carbon
Soil organic
1990 (Tg C) 8.57 1.80 0.29 0.16 13.40 24.21
2000 (Tg C) 8.58 1.81 0.29 0.16 13.40 24.23
2010 (Tg C) 8.58 1.81 0.29 0.16 13.40 24.24
△Cstorage1990-2010 (kt C) (1990-2000; 2000-2010)
(13.93; 0.57)
(2.88; 0.13)
(0.44; -0.24)
(0.52; -0.03)
(3.97; 2.87)
(21.74; 3.30)
Change rate of carbon storage during
1990-2010 (%) (1990-2000; 2000-2010)
(0.16; 0.01)
(0.16; 0.01)
(0.16; -0.02)
(0.32; -0.02)
(0.03; 0.02)
(0.09; 0.01)

Table 3

Carbon density (t C/ha) of different carbon pools inside and outside Shennongjia National Nature Reserve between 1990 and 2010"

Aboveground carbon
Belowground carbon
Litter carbon
Coarse woody
debris carbon
Soil organic

外 Outside
外 Outside 内 Inside 外 Outside 内 Inside 外 Outside 内 Inside 外 Outside 内 Inside 外 Outside
1990 117.76 121.10 24.77 25.42 3.92 4.00 2.22 2.51 184.21 157.04 332.87 310.08
2000 117.95 121.63 24.81 25.53 3.93 4.02 2.22 2.52 184.26 157.20 333.17 310.90
2010 117.96 121.60 24.81 25.53 3.92 4.02 2.22 2.51 184.30 157.19 333.22 310.85
(1990-2000; 2000-2010)
(0.19; 0.01)
(0.52; -0.02)
(0.02; -0.01)
(0.01; 0)
(0.05; 0.04)
(0.16; -0.01)
(0.30; 0.04)
(0.82; -0.05)

Fig. 2

Carbon density change in Shennongjia National Nature Reserve between 1990 and 2010"

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