Technical notes

Lessons learned from the past: forestry initiatives for effective carbon stocking in Southern Italy


Calabria (Italy) is a particularly interesting region of the Mediterranean basin from the perspective of forest management due to the extension of reforestation activities aimed at soil conservation. According to international agreements, these reforestation activities fulfill other functions as well, including carbon storage. Thus, Calabria was selected as a representative area for a study on the different typologies of forest plantations to verify the effects of these functions. Results showed a significant increment in carbon stock compared to the previous land use (i.e. arable land and pastures) and how the average carbon stock per hectare varies in relation to the species considered at the above- and below-ground levels. Carbon stock was higher in conifers (Calabrian pine, Douglas fir) and lower in broad-leaved trees (Turkey oak, European chestnut). The study analyses demonstrate how, based on different intensities of thinning, the carbon eliminated by trees is reconstituted over time in quantities larger than those eliminated by cutting. This latter aspect is relevant, as forest management allows the partial removal of biomass produced without negatively affecting carbon stock. Consequently, reforestation and sustainable forms of forest management are powerful strategies for mitigating the effects of climate change.


Forest biomass; reforestation; carbon stock; silvicultural interventions; stand density.

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