iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Potential relationships of selected abiotic variables, chemical elements and stand characteristics with soil organic carbon in spruce and beech stands

Marián Horváth (1), Petra Hanáková Bečvárová (1), Borivoj Šarapatka (1)   , Ondrej Vencálek (2), Václav Zouhar (3)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 14, Issue 4, Pages 320-328 (2021)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor3654-014
Published: Jul 09, 2021 - Copyright © 2021 SISEF

Research Articles

Increasing attention is given to carbon sequestration in forest soil with regard to climate change and the mitigation of its impacts; therefore, it is very important to know which parameters and variables could influence carbon sequestration and throw light on their relationships. The aim of this study is to assess the role of abiotic variables, chemical elements and stand parameters in soil carbon sequestration, and clarify which of these could affect soil organic carbon (SOC) content in the surface mineral horizon in Norway spruce and European beech stands in Czech Republic. We analyzed 81 monitoring plots within pure and mixed stands of spruce and beech with different degrees of forest naturalness. In each monitoring plot, SOC content, chemical elements (content of bound forms of oxides: tFe, tAl, tCa, tMg, tK, tMn, tP, tN) and related variables (BS, pH, C/N) were measured. The effect of these variables, including abiotic variables (elevation, temperature, precipitation, duration of growing season and soil group) on SOC content was tested, and differences between represented stands (natural vs. unnatural, pure vs. mixed, spruce vs. beech) were analyzed. The results showed that elevation has a positive relationship to SOC content. Of the studied chemical elements and related variables, only tN content was significantly related to SOC content. A positive relationship was also demonstrated between forest naturalness and SOC content. The highest SOC and tN contents were observed in pure natural Norway spruce stands, which likely play a very important role in SOC sequestration. In the context of the current issue of unnatural Norway spruce stands in the Czech Republic, a higher SOC content was found in mixed natural European beech stands than in either pure or mixed unnatural Norway spruce stands. Therefore, replacing the unnatural Norway spruce stands in the study area with mixed natural European beech stands could represent a viable alternative to current forest management in terms of soil carbon sequestration, especially in the context of global climate change and spruce dieback.


Soil Organic Carbon (SOC), Carbon Sequestration, Forest Soil, Norway Spruce, European Beech, Chemical Elements

Authors’ address

Marián Horváth 0000-0001-9083-7303
Petra Hanáková Bečvárová
Borivoj Šarapatka 0000-0002-5070-1628
Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science, Palacký University Olomouc, Šlechtitelu 241/27, 783 71 Olomouc - Holice (Czech Republic)
Ondrej Vencálek 0000-0002-8340-1429
Department of Mathematical Analysis and Applications of Mathematics, Faculty of Science, Palacký University Olomouc 17, listopadu 12, 771 46 Olomouc (Czech Republic)
Václav Zouhar 0000-0001-6013-7461
Forest Management Institute, Brandýs nad Labem, Branch Brno, Vrázova 1, 61600 Brno - Zabovresky (Czech Republic)

Corresponding author

Borivoj Šarapatka


Horváth M, Bečvárová PH, Šarapatka B, Vencálek O, Zouhar V (2021). Potential relationships of selected abiotic variables, chemical elements and stand characteristics with soil organic carbon in spruce and beech stands. iForest 14: 320-328. - doi: 10.3832/ifor3654-014

Academic Editor

Marco Borghetti

Paper history

Received: Sep 17, 2020
Accepted: May 11, 2021

First online: Jul 09, 2021
Publication Date: Aug 31, 2021
Publication Time: 1.97 months

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