Ecosystem carbon allocation can indicate ecosystem carbon cycling visually through its quantification within different carbon pools and carbon exchange. Using the ecological inventory and eddy covariance measurement applied to both a mature temperate mixed forest in Changbai Mountain (CBM) and a mature subtropical evergreen forest in Dinghu Mountain (DHM), we partitioned the ecosystem carbon pool and carbon exchange into different components, determined the allocation and analyzed relationships within those components. Generally, the total carbon stock of CBM was slightly higher than that of DHM due to a higher carbon stock in the arbor layer at CBM. It was interesting that the proportions of carbon stock in vegetation, soil and litter were similar for the two mature forests. The ratio of vegetation carbon pool to soil carbon stock was 1.5 at CBM and 1.3 at DHM. However, more carbon was allocated to the trunk and root from the vegetation carbon pool at CBM, while more carbon was allocated to foliage and branches at DHM. Moreover, 77% of soil carbon storage was limited to the surface soil layer (0-20 cm), while there was still plentiful carbon stored in the deeper soil layers at DHM. The root/shoot ratios were 0.30 and 0.25 for CBM and DHM, respectively. The rates of net ecosystem productivity (NPP) to gross ecosystem productivity (GPP) were 0.76 and 0.58, and the ratios of ecosystem respiration (Re) to GPP were 0.98 and 0.87 for CBM and DHM, respectively. The net ecosystem carbon exchange/productivity (NEP) was 0.24 t C ha–1 yr–1 for CBM and 3.38 t C ha–1 yr–1 for DHM. Due to the common seasonal and inter-annual variations of ecosystem carbon exchange resulting from the influence of environmental factors, it was necessary to use the long record dataset to evaluate the ecosystem sink capacity.
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