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    Forests play an important role in global carbon cycles. However, the lack of available information on carbon stocks in dead organic matter, including woody debris and litter, reduces the reliability of assessing the carbon cycles in entire forest ecosystems. Here we estimate that the national DOM carbon stock in the period of 2004–2008 is 925 ± 54 Tg, with an average density of 5.95 ± 0.35 Mg C ha−1. Over the past two decades from periods of 1984−1988 to 2004−2008, the national dead organic matter carbon stock has increased by 6.7 ± 2.2 Tg carbon per year, primarily due to increasing forest area. Temperature and precipitation increase the carbon density of woody debris, but decrease that of litter. Additionally, the woody debris increases significantly with above ground biomass and forest age. Our results can improve estimates of the carbon budget in China's forests and for better understanding of effects of climate and stand characteristics on dead organic matter distribution.

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    Zhu, Jianxiao; Hu, Huifeng; Tao, Shengli; Chi, Xiulian; Li, Peng; Jiang, Lai; Ji, Chengjun; Zhu, Jiangling; Tang, Zhiyao; Pan, Yude; Birdsey, Richard A.; He, Xinhua; Fang, Jingyun. 2017. Carbon stocks and changes of dead organic matter in China's forests. Nature Communications. 8(1): 1444-.


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