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Carbon storage capacity of high altitude Quercus semecarpifolia, forests of Central Himalayan region

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Quercus semecarpifolia, Smith. (brown oak) forests dominate the high altitudes of central Himalaya between 2400 and 2750 m and the timber line areas. The species is viviparous with short seed viability and coincides its germination with monsoon rains in July–August. These forests have large reserves of carbon in their biomass (above and below ground parts) and soil. We monitored the carbon stock and carbon sequestration rates of this oak on two sites subjected to varying level of disturbance between 2004 and 2009. These forests had carbon ranging between 210.26 and 258.02 t ha−1 in their biomass in 2009 and mean carbon sequestration rates between 3.7 and 4.8 t ha−1 yr−1. The litter production in both the sites ranged from 5.63 to 7.25 t ha−1 yr−1. The leaf litter decomposition of species took more than 720 days for approximately 90% decomposition. Even at 1 m soil depth soil organic carbon was close to 1.0%.

Keywords: Allometric Equations; Biomass; Carbon Sequestration; Disturbance; Litter; Quercus semecarpifolia

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Forestry & Environmental Science,Kumaun University, Nainital,Uttarakhand, India

Publication date: October 1, 2012

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