Carbon and Nutrients Stocks in Even-Aged Maritime Pine Stands from Portugal

Luís Nunes, Maria Patrício, José Tomé, Margarida Tomé


To comply with the demands of the Kyoto Protocol, industrialized countries must reliably estimate the stored carbon (C) in different pools of forest ecosystems. The main objective of this study was to quantify the biomass, C and nutrients stocks in the forest floor, understory, downed dead wood (DDW) and mineral soil of even-aged maritime pine (Pinus pinaster Ait.) stands from three contrasting regions of Portugal. Assessing the specific contribution of DDW to the C and nutrients stocks and how C concentration in the plant material differs from 0.50, the reference value used in many practical applications, were also objectives of this research. Biomass content of forest floor was determined by a quadrat method. Sampling units of 1 m2 were used for the understory. The line intersection method was adopted for sampling DDW and the mineral soil was sampled at three depths. Concentrations of C and nutrients were obtained by chemical analysis of samples from soil and milled plant material. Biomass and C in the trees were obtained using published equations. Total C stocks ranged between 100.6 Mg ha–1 and 308.6 Mg ha–1. Mineral soil shared up to 70-74% of global stored C, being the main cause of the global C stock differences among regions. Phosphorous and potassium were at low to very low levels in the mineral soil and plant material. The contribution of DDW to the C and nutrients pools was negligible. The percentage of C in the plant material ranged between 52% and 54%.


carbon pools; stocks; biomass; nutrients; maritime pine

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DOI: 10.5424/fs/2010193-9096