iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Carbon and nutrient contents in the miscellaneous fraction of litterfall under different thinning intensities in a semiarid Pinus halepensis afforestation

Carmen Segura (1)   , Emilia Fernández-Ondoño (1), M Noelia Jiménez (2), Francisco B Navarro (3)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 12, Issue 4, Pages 375-382 (2019)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor2907-012
Published: Jul 12, 2019 - Copyright © 2019 SISEF

Research Articles

Litterfall evaluation and the effects caused by forestry practices provide valuable information on nutrient-cycle dynamics in managed forests. So far, most of the studies have focused on leaf-fall, omitting other litterfall fractions that can be also relevant for forest and soil modelling in a global change context. With this aim the miscellaneous fraction was quantified in a Pinus halepensis afforestation in the semiarid SE of Spain five years after four different thinning regimes were applied (T75: 75% of mean basal area removed; T60: 60%; T48: 48%; and T0: no thinning). Concentrations and pools (kg ha-1) of carbon and nutrients in the miscellanea fraction were monthly analysed for C and N (June 2010-May 2013), and for P, K, Na, Ca, Mg, Fe, Zn, and Mn (June 2011-May 2013). No differences in concentrations of carbon and nutrients were found among treatments with the exception of N, which showed significant differences between T75 and T60 plots. For pools, a high variability was found over time with maximum C and N pools found during spring, likely reflecting the influence of Thaumetopoea pityocampa attacks. Thinning affected C, N, Mn, and Zn pools in 2011-2012 period, and P, K, Ca, Mg, Mn, Fe, and Zn pools in 2012-2013. Significant differences were mainly found between the most intensive treatment (T75) and unthinned plots (T0). The percentage of annual mean C and nutrient pools in miscellanea showed the importance of its monitoring, with pools that represented from 43.0% to 57.9% of the total litterfall for C (278.81-746.01 kg ha-1 yr-1), N (4.18-10.44 kg ha-1 yr-1), and P (0.37-1.43 kg ha-1 yr-1). Our results stress the high relevance of miscellany monitoring in order to gain a better understanding of nutrient cycles in forest ecosystems.


Mediterranean Region, Aleppo Pine, Micro- and Macronutrient Concentrations, Nutrient Dynamics, C Inputs, Pine Processionary

Authors’ address

Carmen Segura 0000-0003-4797-506X
Emilia Fernández-Ondoño 0000-0002-3530-9302
Department of Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Granada, C/Severo Ochoa s/n, 18071 Granada (Spain)
M Noelia Jiménez 0000-0002-0266-2660
Department of Botany, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Granada, Campus de Cartuja, 18071 Granada (Spain)
Francisco B Navarro
Area of Agriculture and Environment, Institute of Agricultural Research and Training of Andalusia (IFAPA), Government of Andalusia, Camino de Purchil s/n, 18004 Granada (Spain)

Corresponding author

Carmen Segura


Segura C, Fernández-Ondoño E, Jiménez MN, Navarro FB (2019). Carbon and nutrient contents in the miscellaneous fraction of litterfall under different thinning intensities in a semiarid Pinus halepensis afforestation. iForest 12: 375-382. - doi: 10.3832/ifor2907-012

Academic Editor

Giorgio Alberti

Paper history

Received: Jun 27, 2018
Accepted: May 02, 2019

First online: Jul 12, 2019
Publication Date: Aug 31, 2019
Publication Time: 2.37 months

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