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Journal of Arid Land  2020, Vol. 12 Issue (5): 766-774    DOI: 10.1007/s40333-020-0027-4
Research article     
Biomass and carbon stocks in three types of Persian oak (Quercus brantii var. persica) of Zagros forests in a semi-arid area, Iran
Ali MAHDAVI1,*(), Soghra SAIDI1, Yaghob IRANMANESH2, Mostafa NADERI1
1Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Ilam University, Ilam 69315516, Iran
2Research Division of Natural Resources, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Agricultural and Natural Resources Research and Education Center, AREEO, Shahrekord 8818434141, Iran
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Persian oak (Quercus brantii var. persica) is a dominant tree species of Zagros forests in a semi-arid area, western Iran. However, the capacity of biomass and carbon stocks of these forests is not well studied. We selected three types of oak, i.e., seed-originated oak, coppice oak and mixed (seed-originated and coppice) oak of Zagros forests in Dalab valley, Ilam Province, Iran to survey the capacity of biomass and carbon stocks in 2018. Thirty plots with an area of 1000 m2 were systematically and randomly assigned to each type of oak. Quantitative characteristics of trees, such as diameter at breast height (DBH), height, crown diameter and the number of sprouts in each plot were measured. Then, aboveground biomass (AGB), belowground biomass (BGB), aboveground carbon stock (AGCS) and belowground carbon stock (BGCS) of each tree in plots were calculated using allometric equations. The litterfall biomass (LFB) and litterfall carbon stock (LFCS) were measured in a quadrat with 1 m×1 m in each plot. One-way analysis of variance and Duncan's test were performed to detect the differences in biomass and carbon stocks among three types of oak. Results showed that AGB, BGB and BGCS were significantly different among three types of oak. The highest values of AGB, AGCS, BGB and BGCS in seed-originated oak were 76,043.25, 14,725.55, 36,737.79 and 7362.77 kg/hm2, respectively. Also, the highest values of LFB and LFCS in seed-originated oak were 3298.33 and 1520.48 kg/hm2, respectively, which were significantly higher than those of the other two types of oak. The results imply the significant role of seed-originated oak for the regeneration of Zagros forests. Further conservation strategy of seed-originated oak is an important step in the sustainable management of Zagros forests in Iran.

Key wordsbiomass      carbon stock      seed-originated forest      coppice forest      Zagros forest     
Received: 18 December 2018      Published: 10 September 2020
Corresponding Authors: MAHDAVI Ali     E-mail:
About author: *Corresponding author: Ali MAHDAVI (E-mail:
Cite this article:

Ali MAHDAVI, Soghra SAIDI, Yaghob IRANMANESH, Mostafa NADERI. Biomass and carbon stocks in three types of Persian oak (Quercus brantii var. persica) of Zagros forests in a semi-arid area, Iran. Journal of Arid Land, 2020, 12(5): 766-774.

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Type DBH (cm) Number of trees Percentage of trees (%) Height (m) Number of trees Crown
diameter (m)
Number of trees
Coppice oak <30 357 93.7 <5 161 <5 229
30-60 21 5.5 5-15 220 5-15 152
>60 3 0.8 - - >15 0
Total 381 100.0 Total 381 Total 381
Seed-originated oak <30 96 33.1 <5 12 <5 26
30-60 177 61.03 5-15 278 5-15 261
>60 17 5.87 - - >15 3
Total 290 100.0 Total 290 Total 290
Mixed oak <30 239 65.5 <5 200 <5 292
30-60 125 34.2 5-15 165 5-15 73
>60 1 0.3 - - >15 0
Total 365 100.0 Total 365 Total 365
Table 1 Diameter at breast height (DBH), height and crown diameter in the three types of Persian oak
Type Size AGB (kg/hm2) AGCS (kg/hm2) BGB (kg/hm2) BGCS (kg/hm2) LFB (kg/hm2) LFCS (kg/hm2)
Coppice oak Sprout 152.33b 73.81b 121.86b 60.93b - -
Plot 1934.57b 937.32b 1547.65b 773.82b 0.13b 0.06b
Hectare 19,345.73b 9373.20b 15,476.58b 7738.29b 1334.00b 598.90b
Seed-originated oak Tree 786.65a 380.05a 629.32a 314.66a - -
Plot 7604.25a 3673.77a 6083.46a 3041.70a 0.33a 0.10a
Hectare 76,043.25a 36,737.79a 60,834.60a 30,417.30a 3298.33a 1520.48a
Mixed oak Tree or sprouts 113.02c 53.71c 90.41c 45.20c - -
Plot 1375.00c 653.46c 1100.00c 550.00c 0.08c 0.04c
Hectare 13,750.90c 6534.65c 11,000.72c 5500.36c 812.33c 379.91c
Table 2 Biomass and carbon stocks in the three types of Persian oak
Fig. 1 Percentage of AGCS (aboveground carbon stock) in different DBH (diameter at breast height) classes of the three types of oak. C, coppice oak; SO, seed-originated oak; M, mixed oak.
Source of variation Sum of square df Mean of square F P
DBH Between groups 67,160.89 2 33,580.44 224.23 0.00**
Within groups 154,547.61 1033 149.75
Total 221,708.50 1035
Height Between groups 2869.45 2 1434.72 341.69 0.00**
Within groups 4337.48 1033 4.19
Total 7206.93 1035
Crown diameter Between groups 3261.06 2 1630.53 406.23 0.00**
Within groups 4146.25 1033 4.01
Total 7407.32 1035
AGB Between groups 89,483,666.69 2 44,741,833.34 259.96 0.00**
Within groups 177,789,569.70 1033 172,109.94
Total 267,273,236.40 1035
AGCS Between groups 20,956,004.11 2 10,478,002.05 259.12 0.00**
Within groups 41,771,163.30 1033 40,436.75
Total 62,727,167.41 1035
BGCS Between groups 10,854,014.11 2 5,427,007.05 219.11 0.00**
Within groups 31,761,162.30 1033 30,746.52
Total 42,615,176.41 1035
LFCS Between groups 20,000,198.00 2 10,990,000.00 118.03 0.00**
Within groups 8,101,614.98 1033 93,122,011.00
Total 300,000,008.00 1035
Table 3 Results of ANOVA for the quantitative characteristics of oak forests
Fig. 2 Mean values of variables of the three types of oak. DBH, diameter at breast height; AGB, aboveground biomass; AGCS, aboveground carbon stock; BGCS, belowground carbon stock; LFCS, litterfall carbon stock; C, coppice oak; SO, seed-originated oak; MF, mixed oak. Different lowercase letters indicate significant difference among the three types of oak at P<0.05 level.
Fig. 3 Carbon stocks in different carbon pools of the three types of oak. AGCS, aboveground carbon stock; BGCS, belowground carbon stock; LFCS, litterfall carbon stock. C, coppice oak; SO, seed-originated oak; MF, mixed oak. Different lowercase letters indicate significant difference among the three types of forest at P<0.05 level.
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