Phytolith-Occluded Carbon in the Soils of China's Forests
Song, Z., Liu, H., Li, B. and Yang, X. 2013. The production of phytolith-occluded carbon in China's forests: implications to biogeochemical carbon sequestration. Global Change Biology 19: 2907-2915.
Based on their approach to the problem, the four Chinese researchers determined "the present annual phytolith carbon sink in China's forests is 1.7 ± 0.4 Tg CO2 per year, 30% of which is contributed by bamboo because the production flux of PhytOC through tree leaf litter for bamboo is 3-80 times higher than that of other forest types." And they additionally note "recent studies reveal that fine plant roots may also contain a certain amount of silica (Ding et al., 2008) and are rapidly recycled (Gu et al., 2011)," which suggests, in their words, "the phytoligh carbon sink in this study may be underestimated."
The ultimate take-home message of Song et al., as expressed in the concluding sentence of their paper's abstract, is that "forest management practices such as bamboo afforestation and reforestation may significantly enhance the long-term terrestrial carbon sink and contribute to mitigation of global climate warming."
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