Atmospheric CO2 Uptake by Pinus densiflora and Quercus mongolica

  • Jo, Hyun-Kil (Landscape Architecture Program, College of Forest Science, Kangwon National Univ.) ;
  • Ahn, Tae-Won (Dept. of Landscape Architecture, Graduate School, Kangwon National University)
  • Published : 2003.08.01


Plants sequester atmospheric CO$_2$, a major agent of climate change, during the growing periods and mitigate its rising accumulation in the atmosphere. Pinus densiflora and Quercus mongolica are the native tree species dominant in the temperate forests of Korea. This study quantified the annual CO$_2$ uptake by the two species at forest sites in Chuncheon in the middle of the country. The quantification was based on seasonal measurements of CO$_2$ exchange rates under natural conditions by an infrared gas analyzer over the growing season (1999). The monthly CO$_2$ uptake per unit leaf area ranged from 1.6-6.7 mg/d㎡/h for P. densiflora and from 3.7-8.9 mg/d㎡/h for Q. mongolica, with a maximum in mid-summer. An equation for each species was generated to estimate easily the annual CO$_2$ uptake by total leaf area per tree, which subtracted the CO$_2$ release (i.e. respiration) by leaves and woody organs from the gross CO$_2$ uptake (diurnal uptake and release by leaves). Annual CO$_2$ release by leaves and woody organs accounted for 58-73% of the gross CO$_2$ uptake across tree specimens. Annual CO$_2$ uptake per tree increased with increasing dbh (stem diameter at breast height) for the study diameter range, and was greater for Q. mongolica than for P. densiflora in the same dbh sizes. This was mainly associated with a greater total leaf area in the former. For example, the annual CO$_2$ uptake by one tree with dbh of 25 cm was 35.6 kg/yr for P. densiflora and 47.9 kg/yr for Q. mongolica. The results from this study can be applied to evaluate an atmospheric CO$_2$ reduction of woody plants by forest type and age class.


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