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Tree composition and standing biomass in forests of the northern part of Kashmir Himalaya

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Abstract

The physical structure of vegetation and species composition determine the storage potential of biomass and strong influence on the regional and global carbon cycle. The present study was to assess the tree structural attributes including diversity, stem density, biomass and C stocks in the forest types of Kashmir Himalaya. The highest amount of total biomass density (TBD), above ground biomass density (AGBD), below ground biomass density (BGBD) was estimated at 364.84 ± 63.06, 275.63 ± 52.12 and 89.20 ± 15.98 Mg ha−1 for Cedrus forest type, while the lowest values were recorded as 24.47 ± 4.03, 18.17 ± 3.11and 6.30 ± 0.92 Mg ha−1 for Acacia forest type, respectively. The maximum and minimum tree density was recorded for Mixed forest type (555 N ha−1) and Pinus forest type (116.67 N ha−1) respectively. The highest and least basal area were reported to be 43.09 m2 ha−1 (Cedrus forest type), and 3.09 m2 ha−1 (Acacia forest type) with an average value of 19.69 m2 ha−1. Pinus wallichiana and Cedrus deodara tree species store more biomass that contributes 65% and 29% biomass respectively and behaves as C sinks. The results indicated that the forest biomass is a composite variable that integrates diverse structural and functional attributes, thereby linking growing stock volume density (GSVD), basal area, height, wood density and hence plays a significant function in C accumulation. The results of the present study provide the baseline data for effective management and policymakers to decrease regional warming and alleviate the increased levels of atmospheric C by planting tree species having high C storage potential.

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Abbreviations

Gbh:

Girth at breast height

AGBD:

Height, above ground biomass density

BGBD:

Below ground biomass density

TBD:

Total biomass density

TCD:

Tree C density

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Acknowledgements

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

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SS and SMH carried out the field study. SMH compiled the data; SMH, ESC, UY 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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Sajad, S., Haq, S.M., Yaqoob, U. et al. Tree composition and standing biomass in forests of the northern part of Kashmir Himalaya. Vegetos 34, 857–866 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42535-021-00234-w

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