This study investigated, in a Pinus laricio forest of south Italy, how systematic thinning of different intensities (intense thinning, T45; moderate thinning, T25; clear cut, CC; and no thinning, T0) affected soil biological properties, organic matter trend and carbon (C) storage in soil and plants. Soil carbon content and carbon/nitrogen (C/N) ratio were significantly higher in the T45 than in control, T25 and CC. Under T45, the soils had also the highest enzymatic activities, microbial biomass carbon (MBC) and colonies of fungi and bacteria. The humification parameters (humification ratio, HR; the degree of humification, DH; humification index, HI) indicated T45 as the best silvicultural practice-approach method to manage Pinus laricio forest for increasing soil carbon storage. The dendrometric parameters evidenced that T45 caused the greatest increment in wood growth (diameter and height), showing that the positive effect of the intense systematic thinning (T45) on the mechanical stability of plantation was related to the ability of trees to accumulate large amounts of carbon in their wood tissues. These data were confirmed by wood density value that was the highest in pine trees under the T45. This study showed that in Pinus laricio forest under T45 C stock increased in soil and plant, already 4 years after thinning.
European Journal of Forest Research – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 24, 2018
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