Thinning Effect of C Sequestration along an Elevation Gradient of Mediterranean Pinus spp. Plantations
Cachinero-Vivar, Antonio M.
Palacios Rodríguez, Guillermo
Navarro Cerrillo, Rafael M.
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Forests are key elements in mitigating the effects of climate change due to the fact of their carbon sequestration capacity. Forest management can be oriented to optimise the carbon sequestration capacity of forest stands, in line with other productive objectives and the generation of ecosystem services. This research aimed to determine whether thinning treatments have a positive influence on the growth patterns of some of the main Mediterranean pine species and, therefore, on their Carbon (C) fixation capacity, both in terms of living biomass and soil organic carbon. The results obtained show that C sequestration capacity (biomass and SOC) increased at higher thinning intensities due to the induced alterations in tree growth patterns. We observed almost a 1.5-fold increase in P. nigra and P. sylvestris, respectively, and over a two-fold increase in P. pinaster under heavy thinning treatments; SOC stocks were affected by the intensity of the thinning treatments. These results can contribute to improving silvicultural practices aimed at C sequestration in forest plantations located in dry areas of the Mediterranean.