iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Do the rubber plantations in tropical China act as large carbon sinks?

Qing-Hai Song (1-2), Zheng-Hong Tan (1-2), Yi-Ping Zhang (1-2)   , Li-Qing Sha (1), Xiao-Bao Deng (1), Yun Deng (1), Wen-Jun Zhou (1-2), Jun-Fu Zhao (1-2), Jun-Bin Zhao (1-2), Xiang Zhang (1-5), Wei Zhao (1-5), Gui-Rui Yu (3), Xiao-Min Sun (3), Nai-Shen Liang (4), Lian-Yan Yang (1-2)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 7, Issue 1, Pages 42-47 (2014)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor0891-007
Published: Oct 21, 2013 - Copyright © 2014 SISEF

Research Articles

The regrowth of tropical secondary forests and plantations can not offset the carbon release caused by tropical deforestation, consequently determining net carbon losses on tropical lands. However, large uncertainties remain in relation to this assumption. Here, we used a biometric method to estimate the net dry matter production and net ecosystem production in a rubber forest, the most widespread plantation type in tropical Southeast Asia. According to biometric estimates made during the study, the ecosystem was a carbon sink (790 gC m-2 yr-1). Net ecosystem carbon fluxes were measured by the eddy covariance method. The carbon budget estimated using the FluxNet procedure (904 gC m-2 yr-1) was closer to the biometric estimates in comparison to a method based on data measured during neutral atmospheric conditions. Overall, when considering the whole life cycle, including deforestation of the prior-existing tropical forest, the hypothesis of plantations serving as large carbon sinks is not supported by our study.


Carbon Sink, Eddy Flux, Biometric Method, Neutral Atmospheric Condition

Authors’ address

Qing-Hai Song
Zheng-Hong Tan
Yi-Ping Zhang
Li-Qing Sha
Xiao-Bao Deng
Yun Deng
Wen-Jun Zhou
Jun-Fu Zhao
Jun-Bin Zhao
Xiang Zhang
Wei Zhao
Lian-Yan Yang
Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, RC-666303 Menglun (China)
Qing-Hai Song
Zheng-Hong Tan
Yi-Ping Zhang
Wen-Jun Zhou
Jun-Fu Zhao
Jun-Bin Zhao
Lian-Yan Yang
Global Change Ecology Group, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, RC-650223 Kunming (China)
Gui-Rui Yu
Xiao-Min Sun
Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, RC-100101 Beijing (China)
Nai-Shen Liang
Global Carbon Cycle Research Section, Center for Global Environmental Research, National Institute for Environmental Studies, J-305-8506 Tsukuba (Japan)
Xiang Zhang
Wei Zhao
University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, RC-100094 Beijing (China)

Corresponding author

Yi-Ping Zhang


Song Q-H, Tan Z-H, Zhang Y-P, Sha L-Q, Deng X-B, Deng Y, Zhou W-J, Zhao J-F, Zhao J-B, Zhang X, Zhao W, Yu G-R, Sun X-M, Liang N-S, Yang L-Y (2014). Do the rubber plantations in tropical China act as large carbon sinks?. iForest 7: 42-47. - doi: 10.3832/ifor0891-007

Academic Editor

Giorgio Matteucci

Paper history

Received: Nov 15, 2012
Accepted: Aug 30, 2013

First online: Oct 21, 2013
Publication Date: Feb 03, 2014
Publication Time: 1.73 months

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