Comparative study of C sequestration by new forests on former pasture lands

Author Biographies

N. Lust

N. Van Camp

B. Muys

L. Nachtergale

Main Article Content

N. Lust

N. Van Camp

B. Muys

L. Nachtergale

Published Oct 3, 1995

Abstract

The  research compares the C sequestration of on the one hand an old pasture and  on the other hand two young forest stands, planted on former pasture lands.  The stands are respectively ash and pin oak stands, planted 27 and 26 years  ago, with a basal area of 21.3 m2 and 13.10 m2.    C-content was assessed, based upon Hohenadl's model trees, for all  compartments. The total C-content of the pasture land presently amounts to  128 t/ha, whereas it reaches respectively 173 t/ha and 118 t/ha for the ash  and pin oak stands. The soils of the forest stands contain respectively 74  and 50 t carbon/ha. So, remarkable changes occurred in the C quantity and  allocation by the afforestation. Afforestation of a rich pasture leads in the  first phase to a noticeable decrease of the C content in the soil. The C  content of the A1 horizon is significantly greater in the pasture than in the  young forest stands.     Nevertheless afforestation of a pasture considerably increases, already  after 25 years, the C sequestration of the ecosystem, provided the used tree  species are suitable, i.e. they should be fast growing and produce a good  quality litter. This way, not only the aboveground C accumulation is useful,  but also the quantity and the quality of the soil humus. Research on the  evolution of the C sequestration after afforestation of agricultural lands  deserves priority.

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