Selective thinning aimed at absorbing Carbon

LIFE FoResMit: Recovery of degraded coniferous Forests for environmental sustainability Restoration and climate change Mitigation

LIFE14 CCM/IT/000905

Montecristo 2010


Mixed degraded pine and broadleaved forests.

Lagomarsino Alessandra



Restoration of the ecosystem functions of mixed degraded conifers and broadleaved forests in order to increase the potential for climate change mitigation.

Good Practice Description

Among the problems of a degraded forest there is the increase in necromass which involves the reduction of the mitigation potential of climate change. In fact, the CO2 removed from the atmosphere by photosynthesis is unable to balance the CO2 emitted by the decomposition processes of the necromass. This often occurs in coniferous plants built from the beginning to the middle of the last century, since they are subject to abandonment of crops. The management of the pine forests requires, for their functionality, that during the cycle, thinning, generally made from below, is carried out, ie removing the dominated plane. The FoResMit Project, on the other hand, provided for a selective thinning in which about 100 candidate plants per hectare were chosen, among the best present, and freed from competition on the upper plan. When possible, plants other than pine have been chosen in order to favor the next succession phase which involves a specific mixture.

Territorial Context

The experimental area is located in Tuscany, in a peri-urban forest,  at an altitude of about 1000 m above sea level with a typically Mediterranean climate, characterized by precipitations concentrated from autumn to early spring and dry summer. The type of soil, which has silty-clayey texture and a moderately alkaline reaction, is of the Calcaric Cambisols and Cambic Calcisols type, with mesic thermal regime and udic humidity regime.

Replicability conditions

The type of thinning was conceived in such a way as to be as simplified as possible, however a phase of training and dissemination of the method to the technicians who will implement it is important. It is achievable in all contexts with similar criticalities, the limit is given by the regulatory aspects of some regions that expressly do not provide for this type of intervention. However, the problem can be solved through specific management plans.

Dissemination material

From the GoProFor database, in the final part of the sheet, it is possible to download material related to the project and in particular a manual and the Layman’s report as well as other technical documentation.