iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Dynamics of soil organic carbon (SOC) content in stands of Norway spruce (Picea abies) in central Europe

Petra Becvárová (1), Marián Horváth (1), Borivoj Sarapatka (1)   , Václav Zouhar (2)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 11, Issue 6, Pages 734-742 (2018)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor2521-011
Published: Nov 06, 2018 - Copyright © 2018 SISEF

Research Articles

Norway spruce is the main forest tree species in the Czech Republic. Until now, little attention has been given in the literature to the dynamics of soil organic carbon (SOC) content under Norway spruce stands as a function of stand characteristics. The aim of this study is to estimate soil organic carbon (SOC) content and stock changes in organic and surface mineral soil horizons on forest sites with a dominant representation of Norway spruce. In the study area, a significantly higher content of SOC was found in the surface mineral soil horizon than in the organic soil horizon. In both soil horizons, there was evidence of an increasing trend of SOC with the increasing age of forest stands, a decreasing trend of SOC with increasing density of stocking and an increasing trend of SOC with increasing altitude. The relationship of SOC content with soil group (Podzol vs. non-Podzol) has also been demonstrated. The greatest potential for long-term carbon sequestration in soils was shown in older stands (101-190 years) dominated by Norway spruce with lower density of stocking, located in forest vegetation zones (altitude range: 1010-1225 m a.s.l.) where natural mountain Norway spruce forests currently occur. According to our results, Norway spruce stands may perform a stable function of carbon sequestration in the soil at these sites, especially in the mineral soil horizon.


Forest Soil, C Sequestration, Picea abies, Site Conditions, Stand Characteristics, Climate Change

Authors’ address

Petra Becvárová
Marián Horváth
Borivoj Sarapatka
Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science, Palacký University Olomouc, Šlechtitelu 27, 783 71 Olomouc - Holice (Czech Republic)
Václav Zouhar
Forest Management Institute, Brandýs nad Labem, Branch Brno, Vrázova 1, 61600 Brno - Zabovresky (Czech Republic)

Corresponding author

Borivoj Sarapatka


Becvárová P, Horváth M, Sarapatka B, Zouhar V (2018). Dynamics of soil organic carbon (SOC) content in stands of Norway spruce (Picea abies) in central Europe. iForest 11: 734-742. - doi: 10.3832/ifor2521-011

Academic Editor

Carlotta Ferrara

Paper history

Received: Jun 13, 2017
Accepted: Aug 11, 2018

First online: Nov 06, 2018
Publication Date: Dec 31, 2018
Publication Time: 2.90 months

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