Quantification of carbon budgets and cycling in Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria japonica D. Don) plantations is essential for understanding forest functions in Japan because these plantations occupy about 20% of the total forested area. We conducted a biometric estimate of net ecosystem production (NEP) in a mature Japanese cedar plantation beneath a flux tower over a 4-year period. Net primary production (NPP) was 7.9 Mg C ha-1 year-1 and consisted mainly of tree biomass increment and aboveground litter production. Respiration was calculated as 6.8 (soil) and 3.3 (root) Mg C ha-1 year-1. Thus, NEP in the plantation was 4.3 Mg C ha-1 year-1. In agreement with the tower-based flux findings, this result suggests that the Japanese cedar plantation was a strong carbon sink. The biometric-based NEP was higher among most other types of Japanese forests studied. Carbon sequestration in the mature plantation was characterized by a larger increment in tree biomass and lower mortality than in natural forests. Land-use change from natural forest to Japanese cedar plantation might, therefore, stimulate carbon sequestration and change the carbon allocation of NPP from an increment in coarse woody debris to an increase in tree biomass.
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