Post-fire management of mediterranean forests: carbon storage in regenerated areas in eastern Iberian Peninsula

D. Moya, R. Alfaro-Sánchez, F. López-Serrano, T. Dadi, E. Hernández-Tecles, P. Ferrandis, J. de las Heras


Management of burnt forests is a topic that should include monitoring of burnt areas immediately after burning, in order to implement emergency actions that ensure conditions for ecosystem recovery. However, if excessive regeneration is observed, early silvicultural treatments have to be implemented to assist the natural recovery of the ecosystem. This paper discusses the effects of silvicultural management in two burnt areas naturally regenerated. One of the study areas was located in southern Albaceteprovince, covered of Aleppopine (Pinus halepensis Mill.) stands that were burnt in summer 1994. The other area was located in eastern Cuenca province, showing Holm oak (Quercus ilex L. ssp. ballota (Desf.) Samp) stands burnt twice in summer 1993 and 2001. The objective of the current study was to monitor the biomass recovery and carbon stock in two different ways: direct field sampling and calculation of stocks by using available published datasets. Direct sampling showed that in 2010 (nine years after fire), lower amounts of carbon were stored in the young Holm oak standards which were not totally recovered from previous thinning, carried out two years ago. In 2010, sixteen years after the fire and nine after thinning, high intensity thinning contributed to improve the total amount of carbon stock in tree biomass in theAleppo pine stands. In addition, values for unthinned areas were similar to those obtained from the Third Spanish National Forest Inventory. In this study we highlight the interest of implementing a classical tool of silvicultural management in the adaptive forest management of regenerating areas. We propose to consider the inclusion of young regenerated stands in carbon stocks, at least at province and regional level.


post-fire restoration, adaptive management, resilience, carbon pool,wildfires

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