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Carbon storage in degraded cork oak (Quercus suber) forests on flat lowlands in Morocco

Hayat Oubrahim (1)   , Mohamed Boulmane (2), Mark R Bakker (3-4), Laurent Augusto (3-4), Mohammed Halim (1)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 9, Issue 1, Pages 125-137 (2015)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor1364-008
Published: Aug 08, 2015 - Copyright © 2015 SISEF

Research Articles


The present study aims to quantify the carbon stored in a degraded cork oak (Quercus suber L.) ecosystem in the north west of Morocco, in view of potential management implications. To this end, carbon stocks were evaluated in the first 100 cm of the soil, the cork oak trees, and the understorey species (both above- and belowground). Results show that the total carbon stocks in the cork oak ecosystem ranges from 65 to 237 Mg ha-1 with a mean value of 121 Mg ha-1. The first 100 cm of the soil (including the forest floor) represents the largest carbon pool (~51% of the total organic carbon) of the ecosystem. Tree biomass (above- and belowground tissues of cork oak) represents the second largest pool (47%), whereas the contribution of the understorey is less than 2%. Within the first 100 cm of the soil, over 87% of all the soil organic carbon is situated in the first 40 cm of the soil depth. The amount of carbon stored here ranges from 30 to 110 Mg ha-1and these organic carbon stocks vary considerably with the stand basal area of the cork oak (R2 = 0.82). In practice, the carbon stocks of the different pools considered are strongly correlated with the stand density of the cork oak stands. In the semi-arid forest ecosystems of our study, management prescriptions aiming at increasing the standing biomass of the cork oak should thus considerably contribute, both directly through tree biomass and indirectly through increased soil organic matter, to efficient carbon sequestration.

  Keywords


Quercus suber, Mamora, Carbon Storage, Biomass, Litter and Soil

Authors’ address

(1)
Hayat Oubrahim
Mohammed Halim
Université Mohammed V Agdal - Faculté des Sciences- Rabat, Address: 4 Avenue Ibn Battouta B.P. 1014 RP, 10000 Rabat (Morocco)
(2)
Mohamed Boulmane
Laboratoire de Pédologie, Centre de Recherche Forestière, B.P. 763, Av. Omar Ibn Khattab Agdal-Rabat, 10000 Rabat (Morocco)
(3)
Mark R Bakker
Laurent Augusto
Bordeaux Sciences Agro, UMR 1391 ISPA, F-33170 Gradignan (France)
(4)
Mark R Bakker
Laurent Augusto
INRA, UMR 1391 ISPA, F-33140 Villenave d’Ornon (France)

Corresponding author

 
Hayat Oubrahim
h.oubrahim@gmail.com

Citation

Oubrahim H, Boulmane M, Bakker MR, Augusto L, Halim M (2015). Carbon storage in degraded cork oak (Quercus suber) forests on flat lowlands in Morocco. iForest 9: 125-137. - doi: 10.3832/ifor1364-008

Academic Editor

Giorgio Matteucci

Paper history

Received: May 30, 2014
Accepted: Mar 30, 2015

First online: Aug 08, 2015
Publication Date: Feb 21, 2016
Publication Time: 4.37 months

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