Different responses of stem and soil CO2 efflux to pruning in a Chinese fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata) plantation

Qingpeng Yang, Lanlan Liu, Weidong Zhang, Ming Xu, Silong Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Key message: Pruning significantly reduced stem CO2efflux, but had little effect on soil CO2efflux and root respiration.Pruning did not alter temperature sensitivity of CO2efflux from stem and soil. Abstract: Pruning is one of the common silvicultural practices for Chinese fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata) plantations to produce knot-free wood. However, little is known about the effects of pruning on stem and soil CO2 efflux in Chinese fir plantations. In this study, we experimentally manipulated the canopy of Chinese fir by pruning the lower 50 % of the green crown length in a Chinese fir plantation. We monitored the effects of pruning on the stem and soil CO2 efflux, stem radial growth, xylem sap flow, and nonstructural carbohydrate (NSC) concentrations. Our results showed that pruning resulted in the significant reduction of stem CO2 efflux, particularly during the growing season. Despite the removal of the lower 50 % of the green crown length, we did not observe a pronounced reduction in soil CO2 efflux and its components. Moreover, pruning had only little effect on sap flow. No significant difference was observed in the NSC concentrations between treatments in the stem cores and fine roots. We speculated that the different responses of stem and soil CO2 efflux to pruning in the Chinese fir (sprouting species) plantation may have resulted from the different carbon allocations between aboveground and belowground tissues. However, further studies are required to confirm if our findings could be applied to other tree species or ecosystems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1207-1218
Number of pages12
JournalTrees - Structure and Function
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 27 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Forestry
  • Physiology
  • Ecology
  • Plant Science


  • Nonstructural carbohydrate
  • Sap flow
  • Soil respiration
  • Sprouting species
  • Stem respiration
  • Substrate availability


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