c8.9.1 – An early insight into the carbon storage of forest soils of Italy: results from the BioSoil demonstration project

Carnicelli S*, Bonifacio E, Comolli R, Matteucci G, Vingiani S

Collocazione: c8.9.1 – Tipo Comunicazione: Presentazione orale
8° Congresso SISEF *
Sessione 9: “Ecologia del Suolo, Micorrize e Biorimedio” *

Contatto: Stefano Carnicelli (stefano.carnicelli@unifi.it)

Abstract: The demonstration project BioSoil, within the EU Forest Focus regulation, ha represented an unusual, and specially welcome, possibility of a quantitative assessment of the organic carbon storage in Italian forest soils. The project has seen the sampling of all Level I sites in the national ICP-Forest network, that is the CONECOFOR project by the National Forest Service, and of part of the Level II sites. The soil sampling plan of BioSoil project, stemming from the established procedures and experience of the ICP-Forests monitoring programme, was particularly suitable for soil organic carbon (SOC) assessment, thanks to three basic ideas: – co-located sampling for chemical analyses and bulk density (BD) determination, allowing for accurate quantitative conversion of SOC content from w/w to w/a units, defined as soil organic carbon density (SOCD) – composite sampling from 5 different locations on each level I site, so to smooth out short-range variability, that may reach quite high values in soils – sampling down to 80 cm depth, very important as shown by the results In implementing the IPC-Forest/BioSoil protocol in Italy, some additional decision was taken with the purpose of further improving SOCD estimates. Particularly, it was decided to: – Take actual BD measurements for all soil layers in which it was materially possible, above the compulsory requirements of ICP-Forest procedures – Sample level II sites on four subsamples, each made from 6 points, instead of the mandatory minimum of 3 subsamples, each from 8 points. As a result, reliable quantitative data were produced on the SOCD of Italian forest soils, possibly for the first time on such a scale, including nearly 300 sites overall, distributed across the whole of Italy. Level I sites, based on a fixed-grid system, locked to the old grid of the National forest inventory, spanned all possible combinations of woodland type, climate, and so on. Sites were spread from sea level to 1800 m asl, and the whole of Italy was covered. The most important results may be summarized by the following points: – SOCD of Italian forests mostly ranges from 10 to 20 kg·m-2; these values are definitely in excess of educated guesses circulating before the project, and not that far from the typical values encountered in Central and Western European woodlands – Organic carbon of Italian woodlands is mostly well buried into the soil mineral horizons, instead of being accumulated in surface organic horizons, as is more common in Northern forests; then, it might well be much more stable in the long term – The amount of SOC buried in the deeper layers, below 20 cm, is very large; actually, when soils are as deep as 80 cm, they contain as much SOC in the 20-80 layer than in the 0-20 one; this fully vindicates the choice, made by the Forest Soil Expert Panel of ICP-Forests, to stick to the 80 cm depth in the face of pressures to reduce it, to reduce costs

Parole chiave: Soil, Organic Carbon, Icp-forests, Conecofor

Citazione: Carnicelli S, Bonifacio E, Comolli R, Matteucci G, Vingiani S (2011). An early insight into the carbon storage of forest soils of Italy: results from the BioSoil demonstration project . 8° Congresso Nazionale SISEF, Rende (CS), 04 – 07 Ott 2011, Contributo no. #c8.9.1