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Carbon Stock Availability in Forests of the Zabarwan Mountain Range in Kashmir Himalaya

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Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, India Section B: Biological Sciences Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

Assessing forest carbon and its fluctuations in mountainous areas is especially important for carbon budgeting, wildlife protection, assessing ecosystem vulnerability, and a variety of other ecological and environmental purposes. Conservation and maintaining carbon stocks in forests are widely recognized as a relatively low-cost option for mitigating climate risks. The present research was carried out to evaluate the C stocks in the forests of Zabarwan mountain range of Kashmir Himalaya. We carried out random sampling of tree vegetation in the five (5) major forest types in the study area. The carbon stock was calculated and analyzed using hierarchical cluster analysis. The data were subjected to hierarchical cluster analysis via, using PAST software ver.3.14. We recorded 20 forest tree species taxonomically distributed among 15 genera. The total carbon stock in the study area was 872.45 Mg C ha−1 and could store an average of 174.49 Mg C ha−1. Highest total carbon stock (258.46 ± 47.53 Mg C ha−1) was observed for Pinus wallichiana forest, followed by Broad-leaved forest (230.84 ± 84.04 Mg C ha−1), whereas the least value (56.68 ± 16.19 Mg C ha−1) was observed for Scrub forest type. The decreasing trend in total carbon stock was P. wallichiana forest > Broad-leaved forest > Acacia forest > Oak forest > Scrub forest. The most significant tree species in terms of carbon stock was P. wallichiana, Quercus robur, Celtis australis, and Robinia pseudoacacia. The results indicated that the forests of the Zabarwan range show a good signal toward an opportunity in effectively conserving the carbon storage of Kashmir Himalayas by checking destruction of lush green woody forests.

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Acknowledgements

The authors are thankful to those who directly or indirectly helped us during the study.

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VAK carried out the field study. SMH compiled the data; SMH, UY, FB and MUH wrote and revised the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final draft of manuscript.

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Correspondence to Shiekh Marifatul Haq.

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Significance Statement: Assessing forest carbon and its fluctuations in mountainous areas is especially important for carbon budgeting, wildlife protection, assessing ecosystem vulnerability, and a variety of other ecological and environmental purposes. Conservation and maintaining carbon stocks in forests are widely recognized as a relatively low-cost option for mitigating climate risks. The results indicated that the forests of the Zabarwan range show a good signal toward an opportunity in effectively conserving the carbon storage of Kashmir Himalayas by checking destruction of lush green woody forests.

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Khan, V.A., Haq, S.M., Yaqoob, U. et al. Carbon Stock Availability in Forests of the Zabarwan Mountain Range in Kashmir Himalaya. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., India, Sect. B Biol. Sci. 92, 861–867 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40011-022-01381-z

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