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Volume 12, issue 23
Biogeosciences, 12, 6837–6851, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-12-6837-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Biogeosciences, 12, 6837–6851, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-12-6837-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 01 Dec 2015

Research article | 01 Dec 2015

Effects of a windthrow disturbance on the carbon balance of a broadleaf deciduous forest in Hokkaido, Japan

K. Yamanoi1, Y. Mizoguchi1, and H. Utsugi2 K. Yamanoi et al.
  • 1Hokkaido Research Center, Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, 7 Hitsujigaoka, Toyohira-ku, Sapporo, 062-8516, Japan
  • 2Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Tsukuba, 305-8687, Japan

Abstract. Forests play an important role in the terrestrial carbon balance, with most being in a carbon sequestration stage. The net carbon releases that occur result from forest disturbance, and windthrow is a typical disturbance event affecting the forest carbon balance in eastern Asia. The CO2 flux has been measured using the eddy covariance method in a deciduous broadleaf forest (Japanese white birch, Japanese oak, and castor aralia) in Hokkaido, where incidental damage by the strong Typhoon Songda in 2004 occurred. We also used the biometrical method to demonstrate the CO2 flux within the forest in detail. Damaged trees amounted to 40 % of all trees, and they remained on site where they were not extracted by forest management. Gross primary production (GPP), ecosystem respiration (Re), and net ecosystem production were 1350, 975, and 375 g C m−2 yr−1 before the disturbance and 1262, 1359, and −97 g C m−2 yr−1 2 years after the disturbance, respectively. Before the disturbance, the forest was an evident carbon sink, and it subsequently transformed into a net carbon source. Because of increased light intensity at the forest floor, the leaf area index and biomass of the undergrowth (Sasa kurilensis and S. senanensis) increased by factors of 2.4 and 1.7, respectively, in 3 years subsequent to the disturbance. The photosynthesis of Sasa increased rapidly and contributed to the total GPP after the disturbance. The annual GPP only decreased by 6 % just after the disturbance. On the other hand, the annual Re increased by 39 % mainly because of the decomposition of residual coarse-wood debris. The carbon balance after the disturbance was controlled by the new growth and the decomposition of residues. The forest management, which resulted in the dead trees remaining at the study site, strongly affected the carbon balance over the years. When comparing the carbon uptake efficiency at the study site with that at others, including those with various kinds of disturbances, we emphasized the importance of forest management as well as disturbance type in the carbon balance.

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Using the eddy covariance and biometrical methods, the carbon balance was measured in a deciduous broadleaf forest in Japan, where incidental damage by a strong typhoon damaged 40% of trees. Before the disturbance, the forest was an evident carbon sink, and it subsequently transformed into a net carbon source. GPP only decreased by 6% just after the disturbance. On the other hand, Re increased by 39%. Undergrowth dwarf bamboo has an important role in the carbon balance.
Using the eddy covariance and biometrical methods, the carbon balance was measured in a...
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