Carbon stocks and fluxes in tropical lowland dipterocarp rainforests in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo.
Saner P., Loh YY., Ong RC., Hector A.
Deforestation in the tropics is an important source of carbon C release to the atmosphere. To provide a sound scientific base for efforts taken to reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD+) good estimates of C stocks and fluxes are important. We present components of the C balance for selectively logged lowland tropical dipterocarp rainforest in the Malua Forest Reserve of Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. Total organic C in this area was 167.9 Mg C ha⁻¹±3.8 (SD), including: Total aboveground (TAGC: 55%; 91.9 Mg C ha⁻¹±2.9 SEM) and belowground carbon in trees (TBGC: 10%; 16.5 Mg C ha⁻¹±0.5 SEM), deadwood (8%; 13.2 Mg C ha⁻¹±3.5 SEM) and soil organic matter (SOM: 24%; 39.6 Mg C ha⁻¹±0.9 SEM), understory vegetation (3%; 5.1 Mg C ha⁻¹±1.7 SEM), standing litter (<1%; 0.7 Mg C ha⁻¹±0.1 SEM) and fine root biomass (<1%; 0.9 Mg C ha⁻¹±0.1 SEM). Fluxes included litterfall, a proxy for leaf net primary productivity (4.9 Mg C ha⁻¹ yr⁻¹±0.1 SEM), and soil respiration, a measure for heterotrophic ecosystem respiration (28.6 Mg C ha⁻¹ yr⁻¹±1.2 SEM). The missing estimates necessary to close the C balance are wood net primary productivity and autotrophic respiration.Twenty-two years after logging TAGC stocks were 28% lower compared to unlogged forest (128 Mg C ha⁻¹±13.4 SEM); a combined weighted average mean reduction due to selective logging of -57.8 Mg C ha⁻¹ (with 95% CI -75.5 to -40.2). Based on the findings we conclude that selective logging decreased the dipterocarp stock by 55-66%. Silvicultural treatments may have the potential to accelerate the recovery of dipterocarp C stocks to pre-logging levels.