Journal Article Biomass Accumulation and Net Primary Production during the Early Stage of Secondary Succession after a Severe Forest Disturbance in Northern Japan

Yazaki, Tomotsugu  ,  Hirano, Takashi  ,  Sano, Tomohito

7 ( 11 )  , p.287 , 2016-11-18 , MDPI
Quantitative evaluations of biomass accumulation after disturbances in forests are crucially important for elucidating and predicting forest carbon dynamics in order to understand the carbon sink/source activities. During early secondary succession, understory vegetation often affects sapling growth. However, reports on biomass recovery in naturally-regenerating sites are limited in Japan. Therefore, we traced annual or biennial changes in plant species, biomass, and net primary production (NPP) in a naturally regenerating site in Japan after windthrow and salvage-logging plantation for nine years. The catastrophic disturbance depleted the aboveground biomass (AGB) from 90.6 to 2.7 Mg.ha(-1), changing understory dominant species from Dryopteris spp. to Rubus idaeus. The mean understory AGB recovered to 4.7 Mg.ha(-1) in seven years with the dominant species changing to invasive Solidago gigantea. Subsequently, patches of deciduous trees (mainly Betula spp.) recovered whereas the understory AGB decreased. Mean understory NPP increased to 272 g.C.m(-2).year(-1) within seven years after the disturbance, but decreased thereafter to 189 g.C.m(-2).year(-1). Total NPP stagnated despite increasing overstory NPP. The biomass accumulation is similar to that of naturally regenerating sites without increase of trees in boreal and temperate regions. Dense ground vegetation and low water and nutrient availability of the soil in the study site restrict the recovery of canopy-forming trees and eventually influence the biomass accumulation.

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