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Terra Latinoamericana

On-line version ISSN 2395-8030Print version ISSN 0187-5779


GOMEZ-DIAZ, Jesús D.; MONTERROSO-RIVAS, Alejandro I.; TINOCO-RUEDA, Juan A.  and  ETCHEVERS-BARRA, Jorge D.. Forest floor carbon stocks of two types of forest. Terra Latinoam [online]. 2012, vol.30, n.2, pp.177-187. ISSN 2395-8030.

Oak forest (dominated by Quercus spp.) and tropical dry forest are among two of the main forest vegetation types in Mexico, and their carbon stocks associated with the forest floor have not been frequently evaluated. Based on this, the present study was planned to provide data on forest floor carbon stocks in successional stages of both type of forests in the Biosphere Reserve Sierra de Huautla, Morelos. Three successional stages of the forest types were considered: secondary early (i.e., 10 years old), secondary mid (i.e., 20 years old) and mature (i.e., 40 years old). For each forest type and successional status three 1000 m2 sampling plots were delimited and within each one 12 one m2 quadrants were randomly selected. In the oak forest, two layers of organic material in the forest floor were determined: L stratum consisting of recently fallen non decomposed materials, and F+H layer consisting of partly to strongly decomposed plant material. The forest floor carbon stocks were significantly different in the three successional stages for both vegetation types. In the oak forest the estimated values of C contents were 5.6±0.5, 8.0±0.6 and 10.3±0.6 Mg of C ha-1 for the secondary early, secondary mid, and mature successional stages, respectively. For the tropical dry forest, only organic materials characteristics of L layer were distinguished in the forest floor and their carbon stocks were significantly lower than those of the oak forest. The forest floor carbon stocks of the old and young successional stages were significantly higher than in the secondary mid successional stage with values of 1.9±0.2, 0.8±0.1 and 2.2±0.3 Mg of C ha-1, for the secondary early, secondary mid and mature successional tropical dry forest, respectively.

Keywords : layer L; layer F+H; oak forest; tropical dry forest.

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