Estimation of above-ground biomass in shrubland ecosystems of southern Spain

  • R. Mª. Navarro Cerrillo Universidad de Córdoba
  • P. Blanco Oyonarte Universidad de Córdoba
Keywords: above-ground phytomass, Mediterranean shrub, photosynthetic phytomass, sequestered carbon


Although forest biomass estimates are vital for estimating carbon fluxes, the database for estimating the biomass or carbon pool in Mediterranean shrub ecosystems is lacking. This paper reports the above-ground phytomass estimates obtained for shrub ecosystems in Southern Spain. The phytomass values obtained were 1143 g m–2 for heath, 447 g m–2 for rock rose thicket-heath, 788 g m–2 for rock rose thicket and 1404 g m–2 for gorse thicket formations; the corresponding values for bushes were 695 g m–2 for mancha phytomass and 1966 g m–2 for Pistacia lentiscus formations. The photosynthetic-to-total phytomass ratio ranged from 0.156 for mancha highbush to 0.213 in rock rose thickets, with a mean value of 0.187 for the study ecosystems as a whole. The estimates of sequestered carbon differed between the shrub-type ecosystems in the interval between 2.23 t ha–1 for Cistus ladanifer to 9.83 t ha–1 for Pistacia lentiscus. A better understanding of biomass in Mediterranean shrub communities will provide useful information on the growth pattern of these species, biomass mapping, remote sensing and regional estimations of primary productivity in these areas.


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How to Cite
Navarro Cerrillo, R. M., & Blanco Oyonarte, P. (2006). Estimation of above-ground biomass in shrubland ecosystems of southern Spain. Forest Systems, 15(2), 197-207.
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