The data presented were obtained at the first stage (1993–1999) of studies on evaluating the basic parameters of biological production in Russian terrestrial ecosystems in order to provide information for assessing and modeling the carbon budget of the entire terrestrial biota of the country. Stocks of phytomass (by fractions), coarse woody debris, and dead roots (underground necromass) were calculated by two independent methods, which yielded close results. The total amount of phytomass in Russian terrestrial ecosystems was estimated at 81 800 Tg (=1012 g = million t) dry matter, or 39 989 Tg carbon. Forest ecosystems comprise a greater part (82.1%) of live plant organic matter (here and below, comparisons are made with respect to the carbon content); natural grasslands and brushwoods account for 8.8%; the phytomass of wetlands (bogs and swamps), for 6.6%; and the phytomass of farmlands, for only 2.5%. Aboveground wood contains approximately two-thirds of the plant carbon (63.8%), and green parts contain 9.9%. For all classes of ecosystems, the proportion of underground phytomass averages 26.7% of the total amount, varying from 22.0% in forests to 57.1% in grasslands and brushwoods. The average phytomass density on lands covered with vegetation (1629.9 million hectares in Russia) is 5.02 kg/m2 dry matter, or 2.45 kg C/m2. The total amount of carbon in coarse woody debris is 4955 Tg C, and 9180 Tg C are in the underground necromass. In total, the vegetation of Russian terrestrial ecosystems (without litter) contains 54 124 Tg carbon.
Russian Journal of Ecology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 8, 2004
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