The effect of stand characteristics on soil organic carbon content in spruce and deciduous stands

Keywords: forest soil, carbon sequestration, age of stand, density of stocking, canopy of stand, climate change


Aim of study: To determine the effects of stand characteristics, which closely relate to forest management practices, on the soil organic carbon (SOC) content in the organic (O) and surface mineral (A) soil horizons in spruce and deciduous stands, and to show SOC dynamics during the life of production stands.

Area of study: Spruce and deciduous stands located throughout the Czech Republic.

Material and methods: The effects of age, density of stocking and canopy of stand on SOC content in the O and A horizons, and the difference between categories of variables and the trends of SOC were evaluated in spruce and deciduous stands (401 plots) at lower and middle elevations.

Main results: SOC content changed during the life of stands. In spruce stands, a decreasing trend of SOC with stand age was found in the A horizon. In deciduous stands, SOC content was higher overall in the A horizon, fluctuating slightly with stand age, but more balanced during the life of stands. Based on the results, in terms of management of dying spruce stands and carbon sequestration, felling should be carried out in the age group of 81-120 years in spruce stands, whereas in deciduous stands felling should take place in older stands (141 years and more). Density of stocking and canopy of stand had no substantial effect of SOC content.

Research highlights: Deciduous stands have the potential to replace dying spruce stands at lower elevation in terms of carbon sequestration.


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How to Cite
Hanakova-BecvarovaP., HorvathM., SarapatkaB., & ZouharV. (2022). The effect of stand characteristics on soil organic carbon content in spruce and deciduous stands. Forest Systems, 31(1), e005.
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