Yu, S; Jiang, L; Du, WL; Zhao, JJ; Zhang, HY; Zhang, QF; Liu, HJ (2020). Estimation and Spatio-temporal Patterns of Carbon Emissions from Grassland Fires in Inner Mongolia, China. CHINESE GEOGRAPHICAL SCIENCE, 30(4), 572-587.

Grassland fires results in carbon emissions, which directly affects the carbon cycle of ecosystems and the carbon balance. The grassland area of Inner Mongolia accounts for 22% of the total grassland area in China, and many fires occur in the area every year. However, there are few models for estimation of carbon emissions from grassland fires. Accurate estimation of direct carbon emissions from grassland fires is critical to quantifying the contribution of grassland fires to the regional balance of atmospheric carbon. In this study, the regression equations for aboveground biomass (AGB) of grassland in growing season and MODIS NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) were established through field experiments, then AGB during Nov.-Apr. were retrieved based on that in Oct. and decline rate, finally surface fuel load was obtained for whole year. Based on controlled combustion experiments of different grassland types in Inner Mongolia, the carbon emission rate of grassland fires for each grassland type were determined, then carbon emission was estimated using proposed method and carbon emission rate. Results revealed that annual average surface fuel load of grasslands in Inner Mongolia during 2000-2016 was approximately 1.1978 x 10(12)kg. The total area of grassland which was burned in the Inner Mongolia region over the 17-year period was 5298.75 km(2), with the annual average area of 311.69 km(2). The spatial distribution of grassland surface fuel loads is characterized by decreasing from northeast to southwest in Inner Mongolia. The total carbon emissions from grassland fires amounted to 2.24 x 10(7)kg with an annual average of 1.32 x 10(6)for the study area. The areas with most carbon emissions were mainly concentrated in Old Barag Banner and New Barag Right Banner and on the right side of the Oroqin Autonomous Banner. The spatial characteristics of carbon emission depend on the location of grassland fire, mainly in the northeast of Inner Mongolia include Hulunbuir City, Hinggan League, Xilin Gol League and Ulanqab City. The area and spatial location of grassland fires can directly affect the total amount and spatial distribution of carbon emissions. This study provides a reference for estimating carbon emissions from steppe fires. The model and framework for estimation of carbon emissions from grassland fires established can provide a reference value for estimation of carbon emissions from grassland fires in other regions.