Carbon and water cycles in terrestrial ecosystems are a function of many driving environmental
factors such as solar radiation, temperature, precipitation and carbon dioxide. Therefore,
any change in these factors is likely to affect carbon cycle, and thus variability in carbon budget
for a specific ecosystem can be indicative of environmental and climate change.
Terrestrial ecosystems in East Asia cover large land area and represent many vegetation types
including boreal forests, temperate forests, tropical forests, grassland, deserts, and crop
fields extending from the Arctic to equator. They play a critical role in global carbon cycle.
On the other hand, the East Asia is a region that is experiencing rapid economy growth.
Due to intensive land use and large population pressure, carbon cycle of the terrestrial ecosystems
in East Asia has undergone dramatic changes over past several decades, leading to potentially
significant influences on global climate change. In addition, it is speculated that change in
land use pattern and management practices (e.g. reforestation, forestation, conversion of farmland
into grassland or vise versa) may enhance or offset the global warming. Therefore, knowledge of the
carbon dynamics of the terrestrial ecosystems in East Asia is essential to advance our understanding
of global carbon and water budgets and prediction of the impacts of climate change.