Quantifying impacts of national-scale afforestation on carbon budgets in South Korea from 1961 to 2014

Moonil Kim, Florian Kraxner, Yowhan Son, Seong Woo Jeon, Anatoly Shvidenko, Dmitry Schepaschenko, Bo Young Ham, Chul Hee Lim, Cholho Song, Mina Hong, Woo Kyun Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Forests play an important role in regulating the carbon (C) cycle. The main objective of this study was to quantify the effects of South Korean national reforestation programs on carbon budgets. We estimated the changes in C stocks and annual C sequestration in the years 1961-2014 using Korea-specific models, a forest cover map (FCM), national forest inventory (NFI) data, and climate data. Furthermore, we examined the differences in C budgets between Cool forests (forests at elevations above 700 m) and forests in lower-altitude areas. Simulations including the effects of climate conditions on forest dynamics showed that the C stocks of the total forest area increased from 6.65 Tg C in 1961 to 476.21 Tg C in 2014. The model developed here showed a high degree of spatiotemporal reliability. The mean C stocks of the Cool forests and other forests increased from 4.03 and 0.43 Mg C ha-1, respectively, to 102.43 and 73.76 Mg C ha-1 at a rate of 1.82 and 1.36 Mg C ha-1 yr-1 during the same period. These results imply that, although the total Cool forest area of South Korea occupied only about 12.3% (772,788 ha) of the total forest area, the Cool forests play important roles in C balances and forest ecosystems in South Korea. Annual C sequestration totals are projected to decrease at a low rate in the near future because the overall growth rate of a mature forest decreases as the stand ages. Our results quantified forest C dynamics in South Korean forests before and after national reforestation programs. Furthermore, our results can help in development of regional and national forest management strategies to allow for sustainable development of society and to cope with climate change in South Korea.

Original languageEnglish
Article number579
JournalForests
Volume10
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jul 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (NRF-2018R1A6A3A11051238), and was carried out with the support of ´R&D Program for Forest Science Technology (Project No. 2017044B00-1919-BB01) provided by Korea Forest Service (Korea Forestry Promotion Institute). This study was also supported by Korea University Grants, and the Ministry of Environment (MOE) of the Republic of Korea (Project Number: 2014001310008).

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (NRF-2018R1A6A3A11051238), and was carried out with the support of Ŕ&D Program for Forest Science Technology (Project No. 2017044B00-1919-BB01) provided by Korea Forest Service (Korea Forestry Promotion Institute). This study was also supported by Korea University Grants, and the Ministry of Environment (MOE) of the Republic of Korea (Project Number: 2014001310008). The authors would like to thank the collaborative research between the Korea University and IIASA-ESM-CLR (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis-Ecosystem Services and Management-Center for Landscape Resilience and Management). The authors are grateful to the International Boreal Forest Research Association (IBFRA) for encouraging innovation and knowledge-sharing of Cool forests.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 by the author.

Keywords

  • Afforestation
  • Carbon sequestration
  • Cool forest
  • Forest carbon stock
  • National forest inventory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Quantifying impacts of national-scale afforestation on carbon budgets in South Korea from 1961 to 2014'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this