Vol. 3, Issue 4 (2016)
An Assessment of C-stock and Soil physico-chemical properties in standing dead trees of Pine (Pinus roxburghii Sargent) forests in a Mountain Watershed Kumaun Himalaya, India
Author(s): Bharat Giri Gosain
Abstract: The present study was carried out in Pine Pinus roxburghii Sarg. Forest to assess the soil physico-chemical properties, dead standing trees biomass and C-stock between 1261 to 2200m elevations in Sitlakhet, Bimola forests, district Almora, Uttarakhand. Pine is a tall evergreen conifer tree with a spreading crown found in the Himalayas from Kashmir to Bhutan and in the Siwalik hills at altitudes of 450 - 2,400m asl. Pine are important and very often dominant components of the vegetation over large part of Himalayas out of total 24,414.80 km2 area under forests; it occupies 3,943.83 km2 which is 16.15 % of total forest area of the Uttarakhand. Pine is the most common resin producing species of India and also provide alternate source of fuel-wood, leaves for bedding materials and also influence ecosystem in many ways as they affect biogeochemical cycles, hydrology and fire regimes. In sub-tropical region of Kumaun Himalaya, large numbers of standing dead trees have been observed. Dead standing trees in the forest play equal role in C-stock storage as live trees. Although regular inputs of dead tree components play important role in enrichment of forest floor though litter, twigs, fruits and sometime entire tree. The result shows that average total C-stock in Bimola dead standing tree Pine forests was found more than twice as compared to Sitlakhet Pine forests 29.29 vs 56 t/ha. Physico-chemical properties of soil of two study sites Sitlakhet, Bimola in Kumaun Himalaya, across five soil depths, and winter, rainy and summer seasons were analysed. In general, all the soil parameters, viz. Soil moisture, water-holding capacity, organic carbon and organic matter were higher in Bimola Pine forest as compared than Sitlakhet Pine forests and those values were decreased significantly with increasing soil depth may explain that the zone of accumulation of nutrients is not well established in the forest soils of this mountainous region due to strong leaching effect. However, pH did not show any trend with soil depth in both forests. Soil nutrient concentration of soils in Sitlakhet Pine forests declining due to past forest fire.