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Evaluating carbon storage in restoration plantings in the Tasmanian Midlands, a highly modified agricultural landscape


Prior, LD and Paul, KI and Davidson, NJ and Hovenden, MJ and Nichols, SC and Bowman, DMJS, Evaluating carbon storage in restoration plantings in the Tasmanian Midlands, a highly modified agricultural landscape, The Rangeland Journal, 37, (5) pp. 477-488. ISSN 1036-9872 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 Australian Rangeland Society

DOI: doi:10.1071/RJ15070


In recent years there have been incentives to reforest cleared farmland in southern Australia to establish carbon sinks, but the rates of carbon sequestration by such plantings are uncertain at local scales. We used a chronosequence of 21 restoration plantings aged from 6 to 34 years old to measure how above- and belowground carbon relates to the age of the planting. We also compared the amount of carbon in these plantings with that in nearby remnant forest and in adjacent cleared pasture. In terms of total carbon storage in biomass, coarse woody debris and soil, young restoration plantings contained on average much less biomass carbon than the remnant forest (72 versus 203 Mg C ha1), suggesting that restoration plantings had not yet attained maximum biomass carbon. Mean biomass carbon accumulation during the first 34 years after planting was estimated as 4.20.6 Mg C ha1 year1, with the 10th and 90th quantile regression estimates being 2.1 and 8.8 Mg C ha1 year1. There were no significant differences in soil organic carbon (030-cm depth) between the plantings, remnant forest and pasture, with all values in the range of 5967 Mg ha1. This is in line with other studies showing that soil carbon is slow to respond to changes in land use. Based on our measured rates of biomass carbon accumulation, it would require ~50 years to accumulate the average carbon content of remnant forests. However, it is more realistic to assume the rates will slow with time, and it could take over 100 years to attain a new equilibrium of biomass carbon stocks.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:eucalypt, forest remnants, reforestation, soil carbon, temperate savanna
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Community ecology (excl. invasive species ecology)
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Terrestrial biodiversity
UTAS Author:Prior, LD (Dr Lynda Prior)
UTAS Author:Hovenden, MJ (Professor Mark Hovenden)
UTAS Author:Nichols, SC (Mr Scott Nichols)
UTAS Author:Bowman, DMJS (Professor David Bowman)
ID Code:105848
Year Published:2015
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (LP0991026)
Web of Science® Times Cited:10
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2016-01-15
Last Modified:2017-11-01

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