Arboreal Diversity and Aboveground Biomass in a Semi-arid Mediterranean Forest Ecosystem: Case of Kufur-khal Natural Reserve

Mohammad Ali Alrababah, Mohammad Noor Alhamad, Mohammad Minawer Bataineh, Ahmad Fakhri Suwaileh, Ahmad Sami Al-Horani


A recently protected semi-arid east Mediterranean forest ecosystem was investigated for its arboreal species
composition, diversity and aboveground biomass productivity. Variability was investigated in response to the
dominant forest type, the percent crown cover and the disturbance history. Dominant forest types were either
Quercus calliprinos or Pinus halepensis in addition to gaps with no forest cover. Percent crown cover ranged
from dense to sparse cover. The disturbance history of grazing and human land-use changes were moderate
followed by protection measures. Results indicated that P. halepensis dominated blocks showed higher tree
diversity and higher aboveground biomass productivity than Q. calliprinos dominated blocks. Protection
significantly affected species composition with a much more positive impact on Pinus than on Quercus at least at
the short run. Qcalliprinos is more adapted to moderate disturbance than P. halepensis. Short and long term
implications for the protection and forestation of semi-arid east Mediterranean forest ecosystems on biodiversity
were discussed.


Species Composition, Disturbance, Grazing, Protection, Conservation, Carbon Sequestration.

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