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Table 2 Forested land area, volume, converted stem C, and estimated total C with different WDs for all forests for eight inventory periods from 1973 to 2013 in China. Estimated total C is based on AB biomass, Estimated forest contains primarily timber forests and do not contain economic, bamboo, under storey, and shrub forests

From: Re-estimating the changes and ranges of forest biomass carbon in China during the past 40 years

Forest inventoriesWood densitya estimates. ρ (t∙m− 3)Carbon estimates (this study)Total Cc (PgC) (other studies)
No.PeriodArea (106 ha)Volume (109 m3)Volume per hectare (m3∙ha− 1)Stem C (PgC)Total C (PgC)Mean ratiob of stem to whole treeC density (tC∙ha−1)
1st1973–1976101.687.7876.10.451 (average)1.73.058.3%29.53.5–4.4
0.429 (average, − 5%)1.72.928.1
0.474 (average, + 5%)1.83.130.8
0.700 (upper limit)2.74.443.4
2nd1977–198195.627.9883.40.465 (average)1.93.257.7%33.63.6–4.7
0.442 (average, −5%)1.83.132.1
0.488 (average, + 5%)1.93.435.1
0.700 (upper limit)2.84.648.1
3rd1984–1988102.198.0979.20.470 (average)1.93.357.4%32.43.2–5.0
0.447 (average, −5%)1.83.231.0
0.494 (average, + 5%)2.03.533.9
0.700 (upper limit)2.84.746.0
4th1989–1993108.649.0983.60.469 (average)2.13.658.6%33.53.8–9.1
0.446 (average, −5%)2.03.532.0
0.493 (average, + 5%)2.23.835.0
0.700 (upper limit)3.25.247.5
5th1994–1998129.2010.0978.00.478 (average)2.44.158.4%31.94.6–5.7
0.454 (average, −5%)2.33.930.5
0.502 (average, + 5%)2.54.333.3
0.700 (upper limit)3.55.844.6
6th1999–2003142.7912.1084.70.473 (average)2.94.958.9%34.05.2–7.7
0.450 (average, −5%)2.74.632.5
0.497 (average, + 5%)3.05.135.5
0.700 (upper limit)4.26.847.9
7th2004–2008155.5913.3685.90.468 (average)3.15.358.9%34.15.8–6.7
0.444 (average, −5%)3.05.132.6
0.491 (average, + 5%)3.35.535.6
0.700 (upper limit)4.77.648.5
8th2009–2013164.6014.7889.70.469 (average)3.55.959.2%35.56.2–8.4
0.446 (average, −5%)3.35.634.0
0.493 (average, + 5%)3.66.137.1
0.700 (upper limit)5.28.350.5
Projecting future biomass carbon for 2050:
The timber forests:220.61d23.00d104.30.469 (?)5.49.159.2% (?)41.3 
Potential plantation and its age effect:1.5 
Climate change effects:3.0 
Total FCS (the lower limit for 2050; total volume = 23.00 +?):12.6 
  1. aThe values of volume per hectare are weighted by amount volume of each species. The WD in 2050 is assumed to be the same as the current value for each species. The reference ρ (0.7) can be used to test whether an estimate is proper. bThe ratios are weighted by the volume of each species. The ratio in 2050 is assumed to be the same as the current value for each species. cExisting studies refer to (Fang et al. 2001; Pan et al. 2004; Xu et al. 2007; Guo et al. 2010; Li et al. 2011; Ni 2013; SFA-CFN 2013). dThe area and volume in 2050 refer to (SFA-CFN 2016). Note: 1) the ranges of Total C are less than 0.52 PgC; 2) the relative errors of Total C are + 4.46% and − 4.44%; 3) the question marks indicate possible uncertain offsets