INFOCARB: A regional scale forest carbon inventory (Provincia Autonoma di Trento, Southern Italian Alps)

Mirco Rodeghiero, Sergio Tonolli, Loris Vescovo, Damiano Gianelle, Alessandro Cescatti, Matteo Sottocornola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this inventory (acronym: INFOCARB) was to measure the organic carbon stored in the forest ecosystems of the Trento region (Provincia Autonoma di Trento, Northern Italy) in both above- and belowground pools, according to the Kyoto protocol and IPCC requirements. A total of 150 forest sampling points were selected on the entire regional area (6206 km2) with a statistical sampling approach, based on the timber volume as a proxy variable for a stratified sampling. Each sampling point was located with a GPS receiver and a 600 m2 circular plot was delimited around each point. Inside the plots, the biomass of trees, shrubs and herbaceous vegetation was measured, while litter was collected in systematically placed subplots. Topsoil (down to 30 cm depth) was sampled with the excavation method on three systematically located pits, to determine the organic carbon content, the bulk density and the volume occupied by stones and roots. The inventory estimated the regional total carbon content of the forests as 71.9 ± 5.2 Tg C, with an average carbon density of 207.01 ± 14.5 Mg C ha-1. The aboveground biomass and the soil had a similar carbon content, 43.2% and 44.6% of the total ecosystem carbon, respectively, whereas the root systems and the litter accounted for 9.6% and 2.6%, respectively. Due to the high inter-site variability, only weak statistical relationships were found between the soil carbon content and main ecosystem and climatic variables. However, when dividing the plots into different species-dominated forests, the beech sites differed significantly from the conifer sites in the carbon stock and the C/N ratio in the soil organic layers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1093-1101
Number of pages9
JournalForest Ecology and Management
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 01 Mar 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Forest carbon pools
  • Forest monitoring
  • Inventory
  • Soil carbon
  • Soil sampling


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