Tree biomass and carbon stock in subtropical Sal forest of Central Himalaya, India

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Print ISSN : 0970-4078.
Online ISSN : 2229-4473.
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Doi: 10.1007/s42535-022-00503-2
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Keywords: Biomass, Diversity, Ecosystem functioning, Species richness, Tree species


Tree biomass and species diversity have a key role in regulating proper ecosystem functioning. The present study explored variability among four Sal (Shorea robusta Gaertn. f.) forest stands of Bhabar belt of Nainital district of Uttarakhand, Central Himalaya within an elevational range of 405–575 m. Quadrat method was used for sampling to assess the phytosociology and allometric regression equations for biomass and carbon stocks. Significant differences were observed among forest stands in terms of structural attributes. The study sites catalogued 26 tree species with highest species richness on site Ranibagh (RB). Tree density ranged in between 620 individuals ha− 1 [site Fatehpur (FP)] and 810 individuals ha− 1 (site RB). The Kaladhungi (KD) site yielded maximum biomass (317.60 Mg ha− 1) followed by site FP (274.05 Mg ha− 1), site RB (248.62 Mg ha− 1) and least (221.46 Mg ha− 1) by site AP (Amritpur). The maximum carbon stock (244.82 Mg C ha− 1) was recorded on site AP, followed by site KD (150.86 Mg C ha− 1), site FP (130.18 Mg C ha− 1) and site RB (116.91 Mg C ha− 1). The maximum biomass and carbon stock (61.09–92.23%) was endowed by dominant tree species (S. robusta). The aboveground components among forest stands contributed 71.84–77.23%, while belowground biomass contributed 26.76–27.24% to the total biomass. The sub-tropical forests across Central Himalayan regions have been modified by biotic interferences that alter the ecosystem structural and functional aspects including plant diversity, nutrient cycling and productive traits. Thus, assessing the variability in phyto-sociological parameters of forests is important for planning well- structured and precise forest management regimes.

Biomass, Diversity, Ecosystem functioning, Species richness, Tree species

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We are thankful to the Head, Department of Botany for providing necessary lab facilities and we are highly grateful to the Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Forest Department Division, Nainital for providing permission to conduct research work in Sal forests. The authors declare that the study conducted and experiments performed comply with the current laws of the country in which they were performed (India). The authors are highly grateful for the constructive comments of the Editor and the Reviewers that improved our manuscript.

Author Information

Pandey Rachita
Department of Botany, DSB Campus, Kumaun University, Nainital, India
Bargali Surendra Singh
Department of Botany, DSB Campus, Kumaun University, Nainital, India

Bargali Kiran
Department of Botany, DSB Campus, Kumaun University, Nainital, India