Abstract. The impact of air temperature in early growing season on the carbon sequestration of a subtropical coniferous plantation was discussed through analyzing the eddy flux observations at Qianyanzhou (QYZ) site in southern China from 2003 to 2008. This site experienced two cold early growing seasons (with temperature anomalies of 2–5 °C) in 2005 and 2008, and a severe summer drought in 2003.
Results indicated that the low air temperature from January to March was the major factor controlling the inter-annual variations in net carbon uptake at this site, rather than the previously thought summer drought. The accumulative air temperature from January to February showed high correlation (R2=0.970, p<0.001) with the annual net ecosystem production (NEP). This was due to the controls of early-month temperature on the plant phenology developing and the growing season length at this subtropical site. The cold spring greatly shortened the growing season length and therefore reduced the carbon uptake period. The eddy flux observations showed a carbon loss of 4.04 g C m−2 per growing-season day at this coniferous forest site. On the other hand, the summer drought also reduced the net carbon uptake strength because the photosynthesis was more sensitive to water deficit stress than the ecosystem respiration. However, the impact of summer drought occurred within a relatively shorter period and the carbon sequestration went back to the normal level once the drought was relieved.
© 2011 Author(s)
Zhang, W.-J., Wang, H.-M., Yang, F.-T., Yi, Y.-H., Wen, X.-F., Sun, X.-M., Yu, G.-R., Wang, Y.-D., and Ning, J.-C.: Underestimated effects of low temperature during early growing season on carbon sequestration of a subtropical coniferous plantation, Biogeosciences, 8, 1667-1678, doi:10.5194/bg-8-1667-2011, 2011.