Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2023, Vol. 78 ›› Issue (3): 640-657.doi: 10.11821/dlxb202303009

• Climate Change and Land Use • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Carbon accounting for land use, land-use change and forestry in Guangdong province

LYU Guowei1,2(), ZHOU Jianchun3, CAI Yumei3(), MENG Chao4, LI Shengfa5,6,7, CHEN Weilian5,6,7   

  1. 1. College of Land Science and Technology, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China
    2. Sanya Institute of China Agricultural University, Sanya 572025, Hainan, China
    3. Research Center for Territory Spatial Planning, Ministry of Natural Resources, Beijing 100812, China
    4. China National Land Survey and Planning Institute, Beijing 100035, China
    5. Guangzhou Institute of Geography, Guangdong Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510070, China
    6. Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing and Geographical Information System, Guangzhou 510070, China
    7. Guangdong Open Laboratory of Geospatial Information Technology and Application, Guangzhou 510070, China
  • Received:2022-04-08 Revised:2023-02-07 Online:2023-03-25 Published:2023-03-27
  • Contact: CAI Yumei;
  • Supported by:
    International Aid Transparency Initiative(7183770);Major Project of Philosophy and Social Sciences of the Ministry of Education of China(19JZD013);The Open Fund Project of the Key Laboratory of Land Use, Ministry of Natural Resources of China(2020-164-1)


Land use, land-use change, and forestry, also known as LULUCF, are significant sources and sinks of carbon. A high-precision carbon accounting system for LULUCF should always be established as the primary building block for advancing low-carbon land use and sophisticated land management. This study uses the stock-difference method to account for carbon sources and sinks brought by LULUCF at the plot scale in Guangdong. According to the carbon accounting based on the surveys on soil, land use, and forest resources, Guangdong's LULUCF produced 29.673 million tons of carbon sinks in 2018, of which the biomass carbon sink contributed approximately 70% and the soil carbon sink around 30%. The major ways to increase LULUCF carbon sinks, therefore, are to increase plant cover and improve forest management. Different areas within the same land-use type have various carbon accounting values. Even within particular land-use types, such as forestland, wetland, cropland, settlements, and grassland, the carbon accounting values may fluctuate between being recognized as carbon sources and carbon sinks. In the era of reaching carbon peaking and carbon neutrality goals, it is difficult to meet the land-use management requirements with a carbon accounting technique assuming the carbon emission coefficient of every land-use type is constant. The carbon accounting of LULUCF in this study takes annual fluctuations in biomass and soil organic carbon pools into account, which complies with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change criteria and is applicable on a national level in China. Meanwhile, the vegetation allometric growth model and the differentiation map of annual fluctuations of the soil carbon pool resulting from this study can be utilized to enable multi-scenario analyses of the carbon sources or sinks of lands at the plot scale. Finally, the results of the LULUCF carbon accounting offer some support for policymaking that emphasizes decreasing carbon sources and increasing carbon sinks in the management of land use and natural resources.

Key words: land use, LULUCF, carbon accounting, stock-difference method, Guangdong province