iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Effects of traditional forest management on carbon storage in a Mediterranean holm oak (Quercus ilex L.) coppice

Sebastiano Sferlazza   , Federico Guglielmo Maetzke, Massimo Iovino, Giorgio Baiamonte, Vincenzo Palmeri, Donato Salvatore La Mela Veca

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 11, Issue 2, Pages 344-351 (2018)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor2424-011
Published: Apr 18, 2018 - Copyright © 2018 SISEF

Research Articles

In the last decade, there has been increased interest in measuring and modeling storage in the five forest carbon pools: the aboveground and belowground biomass (living biomass), the deadwood and litter (dead biomass), and the soil (soil organic matter). In this paper, we examined carbon storage in a holm oak coppice stand in the Madonie Mountains in Sicily (Italy), which is a typical case of managed coppice stands. Today, traditional coppice practices are only applied to a small number of forested areas in Sicily, such as the selected site, because of the decline in demand for wood and charcoal. The dendrometric parameters of the stands were recorded, and silvicultural indices were calculated immediately after cutting as well as during and at the end of the rotation period; they showed the trends typical of coppices. The carbon stocks in the five carbon pools were quantified to investigate the effects of coppicing on carbon storage in this Mediterranean area. Results showed that the lowest living biomass values were observed in the first years following coppicing, except for litter carbon. Belowground biomass and the soil carbon stock did not vary significantly with coppicing. During the rotation period, the aboveground biomass was completely restored, and the balance of the carbon stocks indicates that coppicing is a sustainable forest management choice from the point of view of the carbon balance, given that the logged trees are generally used for bioenergy production.


Carbon Pool, Aboveground Carbon, Belowground Carbon, Dead Carbon, Litter Carbon, Soil Carbon, Coppicing

Authors’ address

Sebastiano Sferlazza
Federico Guglielmo Maetzke
Massimo Iovino
Giorgio Baiamonte
Vincenzo Palmeri
Donato Salvatore La Mela Veca
Dipartimento Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari e Forestali, Università degli Studi di Palermo, v.le delle Scienze, 90128 Palermo (Italy)

Corresponding author

Sebastiano Sferlazza


Sferlazza S, Maetzke FG, Iovino M, Baiamonte G, Palmeri V, La Mela Veca DS (2018). Effects of traditional forest management on carbon storage in a Mediterranean holm oak (Quercus ilex L.) coppice. iForest 11: 344-351. - doi: 10.3832/ifor2424-011

Academic Editor

Piermaria Corona

Paper history

Received: Mar 10, 2017
Accepted: Jan 28, 2018

First online: Apr 18, 2018
Publication Date: Apr 30, 2018
Publication Time: 2.67 months

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