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Open AccessArticle

Structure and Dynamics of Deadwood in Pine and Oak Stands and their Role in CO2 Sequestration in Lowland Forests of Central Italy

1
Department of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences (DAFNE), University of Tuscia, Via S. Camillo de Lellis, 01100 Viterbo, Italy
2
Consiglio per la ricerca in agricoltura e l’analisi dell’economia agraria (CREA), Via della Pascolare n° 15, 00015 Monterotondo (RM), Italy
3
Department of Forestry, Khalkhal Branch, Islamic Azad University, Khalkhal 56817-31367, Iran
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2020, 11(3), 253; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11030253
Received: 8 January 2020 / Revised: 20 February 2020 / Accepted: 21 February 2020 / Published: 26 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Stand Management and Biomass Growth)
There are many data values describing deadwood in primary forests, however, there is much less information concerning managed forests, particularly in the Mediterranean area. Whole non-living woody biomass (deadwood) is the main component of forest types that plays a vital role in improving and maintaining biodiversity. The dynamics of deadwood and CO2 sequestration by deadwood were examined in three Mediterranean lowland forests: pine forest Pinus pinea L.), evergreen oak forest (Quercus ilex and Quercus suber L.), and deciduous oak forest (Quercus cerris L.). The aim of this study was to carry out a quantitative and qualitative evaluation of the deadwood to gather useful information for the Mediterranean forest management, and to provide some useful data that can be integrated into the methods of estimation for carbon stored in dead components of Mediterranean forest types. The investigations focused on the characterization of the deadwood, to determine which traits are dominant and their potentially functionality within the forest type. Results indicated the deciduous oak type had the highest amount of stand volume (379 m3/ha), deadwood volume (161.8 m3/ha), and C storage (31.43 t/ha). The major component of dead wood was the standing dead trees or snags. There was a higher volume of deadwood in the deciduous oak forest than in the pine and evergreen oak forests. In addition, the deciduous oak forest had a higher snag creation index, a higher fallen log creation index, and a higher past management index compared to pine and evergreen oak forest types. Deadwood volume increased as the decay class in the deciduous oak forest increased, while this trend decreased in the evergreen oak and pine forests. The amount of deadwood was affected by the forest type and forest management regime. Dynamic and past management of deadwood indices indicated that their structure was still in the initial phase of creation and decay in the pine and evergreen oak forests. A comparison with other studies on similar forest types brought out that the variation range of the main parameters for the management of deadwood fell within the variation of the parameters studied. However, the values of these parameters cover a broad range. The population of each forest type is extremely sensitive to the different evolutionary periods of the forest dynamics. View Full-Text
Keywords: classes of decay; sustainable management; pine forest; deciduous oak forest; evergreen oak forest; carbon storage; Central Italy classes of decay; sustainable management; pine forest; deciduous oak forest; evergreen oak forest; carbon storage; Central Italy
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Lo Monaco, A.; Luziatelli, G.; Latterini, F.; Tavankar, F.; Picchio, R. Structure and Dynamics of Deadwood in Pine and Oak Stands and their Role in CO2 Sequestration in Lowland Forests of Central Italy. Forests 2020, 11, 253.

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