African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6691

Full Length Research Paper

Regional scale variation in forest structure and arborous layer aboveground biomass along altitudinal gradient in the Qinling Mountains

Weizhong Li1, Le Kang1, Huai Chen2, Xiaofang Zhang1, Hongke Hao1, Lili Wang1, Qing Wang1, Peng Li1and Pengxiang Zhao1*        
1College of Forestry, Northwest Agriculture and Forest University, Yangling 712100, China. 2Laboratory for Ecological Forecasting and Global Change, Northwest Agriculture and Forest University, Yangling 712100, China.
Email: [email protected], [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 05 June 2012
  •  Published: 07 August 2012


With the decrease of forest area and increase of greenhouse gases like CO2, it is increasingly important to estimate forest biomass and carbon storage. For a better assessment of the variation of regional forest structure and arborous layer biomass at different altitudes in Qinling forest area, we studied the environment factors and interference factors of local forest, on the 50 selective sampling plots (800 to 2300 m). The results showed that low altitude forest was more severely disturbed by human being, with its structure different from other altitudes. The arborous layer biomass was between 104.76 ± 8.97 and 40.48 ± 3.03 mg ha-1, negatively related to altitude (r= - 0.456, P < 0.05), and positively related to age (r= 0.596, P < 0.05) and basal area (rp= 0.667, P < 0.01). The temperature change related to altitudes and decreasing stem density were the main factors influencing forest stand biomass and productivity. The average individual biomass of broadleaved species decreased with increasing altitude, while that of coniferous species increased gradually, with some exception in low-altitude areas. The results showed that the forest biomass estimation in regional scale is different from that for larger scales. We must take into consideration inference factors and environment changes.


Key words: Arborous layer aboveground biomass, carbon pool, secondary mixed forest.