ResearchPad - Global and Planetary Change https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Using Soil and Water Conservation Contests for Extension: Experiences from the Bolivian Mountain Valleys]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5b7d254a463d7e4bac518896

Soil and water conservation (SWC) contests among farmer groups were organized in five rural villages in the Bolivian mountain valleys. The contests were aimed at quickly achieving widespread sustainable results. This article analyzes the effectiveness of these contests as an extension tool. Mixed results were obtained. In three villages, participation rates in the SWC activities introduced in the contests were still high even 2 years after project withdrawal. These were all villages where a solid foundation for sustainable development had been laid before the contests were held. Two years later, most families were still involved in maintenance of the SWC practices introduced in the contests, and many farmers had started to experiment with different soil management practices. However, replications of these SWC practices were not widespread, Conservation Leaders did not continue with their training activities, and the quality of maintenance of the practices was often not satisfactory. In order to become a more effective extension tool and achieve widespread impact, SWC contests must receive continued support by a catalyst agency. Moreover, other SWC contests should also be organized in which practices are not predefined. Given that SWC contests are a low-budget extension tool, local municipalities could become more actively involved.

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<![CDATA[Early Vegetation Development on an Exposed Reservoir: Implications for Dam Removal]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5b7c658c463d7e16f1dfd288

The 4-year drawdown of Horsetooth Reservoir, Colorado, for dam maintenance, provides a case study analog of vegetation response on sediment that might be exposed from removal of a tall dam. Early vegetation recovery on the exposed reservoir bottom was a combination of (1) vegetation colonization on bare, moist substrates typical of riparian zones and reservoir sediment of shallow dams and (2) a shift in moisture status from mesic to the xeric conditions associated with the pre-impoundment upland position of most of the drawdown zone. Plant communities changed rapidly during the first four years of exposure, but were still substantially different from the background upland plant community. Predictions from the recruitment box model about the locations of Populus deltoides subsp. monilifera (plains cottonwood) seedlings relative to the water surface were qualitatively confirmed with respect to optimum locations. However, the extreme vertical range of water surface elevations produced cottonwood seed regeneration well outside the predicted limits of drawdown rate and height above late summer stage. The establishment and survival of cottonwood at high elevations and the differences between the upland plant community and the community that had developed after four years of exposure suggest that vegetation recovery following tall dam removal will follow a trajectory very different from a simple reversal of the response to dam construction, involving not only long time scales of establishment and growth of upland vegetation, but also possibly decades of persistence of legacy vegetation established during the reservoir to upland transition.

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<![CDATA[Perceived Conflicts Between Pastoralism and Conservation of the Kiang Equus kiang in the Ladakh Trans-Himalaya, India]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5b7bfa24463d7e03282b5784

An emerging conflict with Trans-Himalayan pastoral communities in Ladakh’s Changthang Plateau threatens the conservation prospects of the kiang (Equus kiang) in India. It is locally believed that Changthang’s rangelands are overstocked with kiang, resulting in forage competition with livestock. Here, we provide a review and preliminary data on the causes of this conflict. Erosion of people’s tolerance of the kiang can be attributed to factors such as the loss of traditional pastures during an Indo-Chinese war fought in 1962, immigration of refugees from Tibet, doubling of the livestock population in about 20 years, and increasing commercialization of cashmere (pashmina) production. The perception of kiang overstocking appears misplaced, because our range-wide density estimate of 0.24 kiang km−2 (± 0.44, 95% CL) is comparable to kiang densities reported from Tibet. A catastrophic decline during the war and subsequent recovery of the kiang population apparently led to the overstocking perception in Ladakh. In the Hanle Valley, an important area for the kiang, its density was higher (0.56 km−2) although even here, we estimated the total forage consumed by kiang to be only 3–4% compared to 96–97% consumed by the large livestock population (78 km−2). Our analysis nevertheless suggests that at a localized scale, some herders do face serious forage competition from kiang in key areas such as moist sedge meadows, and thus management strategies also need to be devised at this scale. In-depth socioeconomic surveys are needed to understand the full extent of the conflicts, and herder-centered participatory resolution needs to be facilitated to ensure that a sustainable solution for livelihoods and kiang conservation is achieved.

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<![CDATA[Multiscale Drivers of Water Chemistry of Boreal Lakes and Streams]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5b7bfa06463d7e03282b576b

The variability in surface water chemistry within and between aquatic ecosystems is regulated by many factors operating at several spatial and temporal scales. The importance of geographic, regional-, and local-scale factors as drivers of the natural variability of three water chemistry variables representing buffering capacity and the importance of weathering (acid neutralizing capacity, ANC), nutrient concentration (total phosphorus, TP), and importance of allochthonous inputs (total organic carbon, TOC) were studied in boreal streams and lakes using a method of variance decomposition. Partial redundancy analysis (pRDA) of ANC, TP, and TOC and 38 environmental variables in 361 lakes and 390 streams showed the importance of the interaction between geographic position and regional-scale variables. Geographic position and regional-scale factors combined explained 15.3% (streams) and 10.6% (lakes) of the variation in ANC, TP, and TOC. The unique variance explained by geographic, regional, and local-scale variables alone was <10%. The largest amount of variance was explained by the pure effect of regional-scale variables (9.9% for streams and 7.8% for lakes), followed by local-scale variables (2.9% and 5.8%) and geographic position (1.8% and 3.7%). The combined effect of geographic position, regional-, and local-scale variables accounted for between 30.3% (lakes) and 39.9% (streams) of the variance in surface water chemistry. These findings lend support to the conjecture that lakes and streams are intimately linked to their catchments and have important implications regarding conservation and restoration (management) endeavors.

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<![CDATA[Integrating forest inventory and analysis data into a LIDAR-based carbon monitoring system]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989da0aab0ee8fa60b7759f

Background

Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) data may be a valuable component of a LIDAR-based carbon monitoring system, but integration of the two observation systems is not without challenges. To explore integration methods, two wall-to-wall LIDAR-derived biomass maps were compared to FIA data at both the plot and county levels in Anne Arundel and Howard Counties in Maryland. Allometric model-related errors were also considered.

Results

In areas of medium to dense biomass, the FIA data were valuable for evaluating map accuracy by comparing plot biomass to pixel values. However, at plots that were defined as “nonforest”, FIA plots had limited value because tree data was not collected even though trees may be present. When the FIA data were combined with a previous inventory that included sampling of nonforest plots, 21 to 27% of the total biomass of all trees was accounted for in nonforest conditions, resulting in a more accurate benchmark for comparing to total biomass derived from the LIDAR maps. Allometric model error was relatively small, but there was as much as 31% difference in mean biomass based on local diameter-based equations compared to regional volume-based equations, suggesting that the choice of allometric model is important.

Conclusions

To be successfully integrated with LIDAR, FIA sampling would need to be enhanced to include measurements of all trees in a landscape, not just those on land defined as “forest”. Improved GPS accuracy of plot locations, intensifying data collection in small areas with few FIA plots, and other enhancements are also recommended.

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<![CDATA[Uncertainty in the spatial distribution of tropical forest biomass: a comparison of pan-tropical maps]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989da9cab0ee8fa60ba420c

Background

Mapping the aboveground biomass of tropical forests is essential both for implementing conservation policy and reducing uncertainties in the global carbon cycle. Two medium resolution (500 m – 1000 m) pantropical maps of vegetation biomass have been recently published, and have been widely used by sub-national and national-level activities in relation to Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+). Both maps use similar input data layers, and are driven by the same spaceborne LiDAR dataset providing systematic forest height and canopy structure estimates, but use different ground datasets for calibration and different spatial modelling methodologies. Here, we compare these two maps to each other, to the FAO’s Forest Resource Assessment (FRA) 2010 country-level data, and to a high resolution (100 m) biomass map generated for a portion of the Colombian Amazon.

Results

We find substantial differences between the two maps, in particular in central Amazonia, the Congo basin, the south of Papua New Guinea, the Miombo woodlands of Africa, and the dry forests and savannas of South America. There is little consistency in the direction of the difference. However, when the maps are aggregated to the country or biome scale there is greater agreement, with differences cancelling out to a certain extent. When comparing country level biomass stocks, the two maps agree with each other to a much greater extent than to the FRA 2010 estimates. In the Colombian Amazon, both pantropical maps estimate higher biomass than the independent high resolution map, but show a similar spatial distribution of this biomass.

Conclusions

Biomass mapping has progressed enormously over the past decade, to the stage where we can produce globally consistent maps of aboveground biomass. We show that there are still large uncertainties in these maps, in particular in areas with little field data. However, when used at a regional scale, different maps appear to converge, suggesting we can provide reasonable stock estimates when aggregated over large regions. Therefore we believe the largest uncertainties for REDD+ activities relate to the spatial distribution of biomass and to the spatial pattern of forest cover change, rather than to total globally or nationally summed carbon density.

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<![CDATA[Carbon fluxes resulting from land-use changes in the Tamaulipan thornscrub of northeastern Mexico]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989da93ab0ee8fa60ba0ffc

Information on carbon stock and flux resulting from land-use changes in subtropical, semi-arid ecosystems are important to understand global carbon flux, yet little data is available. In the Tamaulipan thornscrub forests of northeastern Mexico, biomass components of standing vegetation were estimated from 56 quadrats (200 m2 each). Regional land-use changes and present forest cover, as well as estimates of soil organic carbon from chronosequences, were used to predict carbon stocks and fluxes in this ecosystem.

For the period of 1980–1996, the Tamaulipan thornscrub is presenting an annual deforestation rate of 2.27% indicating that approximately 600 km2 of this plant community are lost every year and that 60% of the original Mexican Tamaulipan thornscrub vegetation has been lost since the 1950's. On the other hand, intensive agriculture, including introduced grasslands increased (4,000 km2) from 32 to 42% of the total studied area, largely at the expense of the Tamaulipan thornscrub forests. Land-use changes from Tamaulipan thornscrub forest to agriculture contribute 2.2 Tg to current annual carbon emissions and standing biomass averages 0.24 ± 0.06 Tg, root biomass averages 0.17 ± 0.03 Tg, and soil organic carbon averages 1.80 ± 0.27 Tg. Land-use changes from 1950 to 2000 accounted for Carbon emissions of the order of 180.1 Tg. Projected land-use changes will likely contribute to an additional carbon flux of 98.0 Tg by the year 2100. Practices to conserve sequester, and transfer carbon stocks in semi-arid ecosystems are discussed as a means to reduce carbon flux from deforestation practices.

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<![CDATA[Monitoring vegetation dynamics and carbon stock density in miombo woodlands]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989da16ab0ee8fa60b7b399

Background

The United Nation’s Program for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) aims to reduce the 20% contribution to global emissions of greenhouse gases from the forest sector, offering a financial value of the carbon stored in forests as an incentive for local communities. The pre-requisite for the setup of a participatory REDD + Program is the monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) of baseline carbon stocks and their changes over time. In this study, we investigated miombo woodland’s dynamics in terms of composition, structure and biomass over a 4-year period (2005–2009), and the Carbon Stock Density (CSD) for the year 2009. The study was conducted in the Niassa National Reserve (NNR) in northern Mozambique, which is the 14th largest protected area in the world.

Results

Mean tree density distributed across 79 species increased slightly between 2005 and 2009, respectively, from 548 to 587 trees ha-1. Julbernardia globiflora (Benth.) was the most important species in this area [importance value index (IVI2005= 61 and IVI2009 = 54)]. The woodlands presented an inverted J-shaped diametric curve, with 69% of the individuals representing the young cohort. Woody biomass had a net increase of 3 Mg ha-1 with the highest growth observed in Dyplorhynchus condilocarpon (Müll.Arg.) Pichon (0.54 Mg ha-1). J. globiflora had a net decrease in biomass of 0.09 Mg ha-1. Total CSD density was estimated at ca. 67 MgC ha-1 ± 24.85 with soils (average 34.72 ± 17.93 MgC ha-1) and woody vegetation (average 29.8 MgC ha-1 ± 13.07) representing the major carbon pools. The results point to a relatively stable ecosystem, but they call for the need to refocus management activities.

Conclusions

The miombo woodlands in NNR are representative of the woodlands in the eco-region in terms of vegetation structure and composition. They experienced net increase in woody biomass, a considerable recruitment level and low mortality. According to our results, NNR may present good potential for carbon sequestration especially in soils and woody biomass, representing an important potential carbon sink. However, further investigations are needed in order to address the contribution of this area to MRV REDD + initiatives.

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<![CDATA[Using climate-FVS to project landscape-level forest carbon stores for 100 years from field and LiDAR measures of initial conditions]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989da5aab0ee8fa60b8fbb4

Background

Forest resources supply a wide range of environmental services like mitigation of increasing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). As climate is changing, forest managers have added pressure to obtain forest resources by following stand management alternatives that are biologically sustainable and economically profitable. The goal of this study is to project the effect of typical forest management actions on forest C levels, given a changing climate, in the Moscow Mountain area of north-central Idaho, USA. Harvest and prescribed fire management treatments followed by plantings of one of four regionally important commercial tree species were simulated, using the climate-sensitive version of the Forest Vegetation Simulator, to estimate the biomass of four different planted species and their C sequestration response to three climate change scenarios.

Results

Results show that anticipated climate change induces a substantial decrease in C sequestration potential regardless of which of the four tree species tested are planted. It was also found that Pinus monticola has the highest capacity to sequester C by 2110, followed by Pinus ponderosa, then Pseudotsuga menziesii, and lastly Larix occidentalis.

Conclusions

Variability in the growth responses to climate change exhibited by the four planted species considered in this study points to the importance to forest managers of considering how well adapted seedlings may be to predicted climate change, before the seedlings are planted, and particularly if maximizing C sequestration is the management goal.

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<![CDATA[Twentieth century carbon stock changes related to Pi&#241;on-Juniper expansion into a black sagebrush community]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989da50ab0ee8fa60b8db86

Background

Increases in the spatial extent and density of woody plants relative to herbaceous species have been observed across many ecosystems. These changes can have large effects on ecosystem carbon stocks and therefore are of interest for regional and national carbon inventories and for potential carbon sequestration or management activities. However, it is challenging to estimate the effect of woody plant encroachment on carbon because aboveground carbon stocks are very heterogeneous spatially and belowground carbon stocks exhibit complex and variable responses to changing plant cover. As a result, estimates of carbon stock changes with woody plant cover remain highly uncertain. In this study, we use a combination of plot- and remote sensing-based techniques to estimate the carbon impacts of piñon and juniper (PJ) encroachment in SE Utah across a variety of spatial scales with a specific focus on the role of spatial heterogeneity in carbon estimates.

Results

At a plot scale (300 m2) areas piñon juniper (PJ) encroached areas had 0.26 kg C m-2 less understory vegetation carbon compared to un-encroached sites. This lower amount of carbon was offset by an average of 1.82 kg C m-2 higher carbon in PJ vegetation and 0.50 kg m-2 of C in PJ surface-litter carbon. Soil mineral carbon stocks were unaffected by woody plant cover and density. Aboveground carbon stocks were highly dependent on PJ vegetation density. At a 300 m2 plot-scale, plots with low and high density of PJ forest had 1.40 kg C m-2 and 3.69 kg m-2 more carbon than the un-encroached plot. To examine how these 300 m2 variations influence landscape scale C estimates, historical and contemporary aerial photos were analyzed to develop forest density maps in order to estimate above ground PJ associated C stock changes in a 25 ha area. This technique yielded an average estimate of 1.43 kg m-2 of C accumulation with PJ encroachment. Combining this estimate with analysis of tree growth increments from dendrochronologies, we estimate that these PJ stands are accumulating aboveground C at an annual rate of 0.02 kg C m-2 with no slowing of this rate in healthy PJ. This result is in contrast to what has been observed in large areas of drought related PJ mortality, where C accumulation has ceased.

Conclusions

These results illustrate that the encroachment of PJ forests in SE Utah over the last century has resulted in a large (and ongoing) accumulation of carbon in PJ trees and surface litter. However, the magnitude of the increase depends to on the density of vegetation across the landscape and the health of forest stands. Both management activities that remove forest carbon and forest mortality due to drought or wildfire have the potential to quickly reverse the multi-decadal accumulation of carbon in these stands.

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<![CDATA[On the use of data mining for estimating carbon storage in the trees]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989da63ab0ee8fa60b91525

Forests contribute to climate change mitigation by storing carbon in tree biomass. The amount of carbon stored in this carbon pool is estimated by using either allometric equations or biomass expansion factors. Both of the methods provide estimate of the carbon stock based on the biometric parameters of a model tree. This study calls attention to the potential advantages of the data mining technique known as instance-based classification, which is not used currently for this purpose. The analysis of the data on the carbon storage in 30 trees of Brazilian pine (Araucaria angustifolia) shows that the instance-based classification provides as relevant estimates as the conventional methods do. The coefficient of correlation between the estimated and measured values of carbon storage in tree biomass does not vary significantly with the choice of the method. The use of some other measures of method performance leads to the same result. In contrast to the convention methods the instance-based classification does not presume any specific form of the function relating carbon storage to the biometric parameters of the tree. Since the best form of such function is difficult to find, the instance-based classification could outperform the conventional methods in some cases, or simply get rid of the questions about the choice of the allometric equations.

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<![CDATA[High-fidelity national carbon mapping for resource management and REDD+]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989d9f2ab0ee8fa60b6ec88

Background

High fidelity carbon mapping has the potential to greatly advance national resource management and to encourage international action toward climate change mitigation. However, carbon inventories based on field plots alone cannot capture the heterogeneity of carbon stocks, and thus remote sensing-assisted approaches are critically important to carbon mapping at regional to global scales. We advanced a high-resolution, national-scale carbon mapping approach applied to the Republic of Panama – one of the first UN REDD + partner countries.

Results

Integrating measurements of vegetation structure collected by airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) with field inventory plots, we report LiDAR-estimated aboveground carbon stock errors of ~10% on any 1-ha land parcel across a wide range of ecological conditions. Critically, this shows that LiDAR provides a highly reliable replacement for inventory plots in areas lacking field data, both in humid tropical forests and among drier tropical vegetation types. We then scale up a systematically aligned LiDAR sampling of Panama using satellite data on topography, rainfall, and vegetation cover to model carbon stocks at 1-ha resolution with estimated average pixel-level uncertainty of 20.5 Mg C ha-1 nationwide.

Conclusions

The national carbon map revealed strong abiotic and human controls over Panamanian carbon stocks, and the new level of detail with estimated uncertainties for every individual hectare in the country sets Panama at the forefront in high-resolution ecosystem management. With this repeatable approach, carbon resource decision-making can be made on a geospatially explicit basis, enhancing human welfare and environmental protection.

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<![CDATA[Carbon benefits from protected areas in the conterminous United States]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989da22ab0ee8fa60b7f79d

Background

Conversion of forests to other land cover or land use releases the carbon stored in the forests and reduces carbon sequestration potential of the land. The rate of forest conversion could be reduced by establishing protected areas for biological diversity and other conservation goals. The purpose of this study is to quantify the efficiency and potential of forest land protection for mitigating GHG emissions.

Results

The analysis of related national-level datasets shows that during the period of 1992–2001 net forest losses in protected areas were small as compared to those in unprotected areas: -0.74% and −4.07%, respectively. If forest loss rates in protected and unprotected area had been similar, then forest losses in the protected forestlands would be larger by 870 km2/yr forests, that corresponds to release of 7 Tg C/yr (1 Tg=1012 g). Conversely, and continuing to assume no leakage effects or interactions of prices and harvest levels, about 1,200 km2/yr forests could have remained forest during the period of 1992–2001 if net area loss rate in the forestland outside protected areas was reduced by 20%. Not counting carbon in harvested wood products, this is equivalent to reducing fossil-fuel based carbon emissions by 10 Tg C/yr during this period. The South and West had much higher potentials to mitigate GHG emission from reducing loss rates in unprotected forests than that of North region. Spatially, rates of forest loss were higher across the coastal states in the southeastern US than would be expected from their population change, while interior states in the northern US experienced less forest area loss than would have been expected given their demographic characteristics.

Conclusions

The estimated carbon benefit from the reduced forest loss based on current protected areas is 7 Tg C/yr, equivalent to the average carbon benefit per year for a previously proposed ten-year $110 million per year tree planting program scenario in the US. If there had been a program that could have reduced forest area loss by 20% in unprotected forestlands during 1992–2001, collectively the benefits from reduced forest loss would be equal to 9.4% of current net forest ecosystem carbon sequestration in the conterminous US.

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<![CDATA[Forest production predicted from satellite image analysis for the Southeast Asia region]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989daf4ab0ee8fa60bc23e0

Background

The objective of this study was to demonstrate a new, cost-effective method to define the sustainable amounts of harvested wood products in Southeast Asian countries case studies, while avoiding degradation (net loss) of total wood carbon stocks. Satellite remote sensing from the MODIS sensor was used in the CASA (Carnegie Ames Stanford Approach) carbon cycle model to map forest production for the Southeast Asia region from 2000 to 2010. These CASA model results have been designed to be spatially detailed enough to support carbon cycle assessments in different wooded land cover classes, e.g., open woodlands, wetlands, and forest areas.

Results

The country with the highest average forest net primary production (NPP greater than 950 g C m-2 yr-1) over the period was the Philippines, followed by Malaysia and Indonesia. Myanmar and Vietnam had the lowest average forest NPP among the region’s countries at less than 815 g C m-2 yr-1. Case studies from throughout the Southeast Asia region for the maximum harvested wood products amount that could be sustainably extracted per year were generated using the CASA model NPP predictions.

Conclusions

The method of using CASA model’s estimated annual change in forest carbon on a yearly basis can conservatively define the upper limit for the amount of harvested wood products that can be removed and still avoid degradation (net loss) of the total wood carbon stock over that same time period.

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<![CDATA[Potential stocks and increments of woody biomass in the European Union under different management and climate scenarios]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989da34ab0ee8fa60b85a69

Background

Forests play an important role in the global carbon flow. They can store carbon and can also provide wood which can substitute other materials. In EU27 the standing biomass is steadily increasing. Increments and harvests seem to have reached a plateau between 2005 and 2010. One reason for reaching this plateau will be the circumstance that the forests are getting older. High ages have the advantage that they typical show high carbon concentration and the disadvantage that the increment rates are decreasing. It should be investigated how biomass stock, harvests and increments will develop under different climate scenarios and two management scenarios where one is forcing to store high biomass amounts in forests and the other tries to have high increment rates and much harvested wood.

Results

A management which is maximising standing biomass will raise the stem wood carbon stocks from 30 tC/ha to 50 tC/ha until 2100. A management which is maximising increments will lower the stock to 20 tC/ha until 2100. The estimates for the climate scenarios A1b, B1 and E1 are different but there is much more effect by the management target than by the climate scenario. By maximising increments the harvests are 0.4 tC/ha/year higher than in the management which maximises the standing biomass. The increments until 2040 are close together but around 2100 the increments when maximising standing biomass are approximately 50 % lower than those when maximising increments. Cold regions will benefit from the climate changes in the climate scenarios by showing higher increments.

Conclusions

The results of this study suggest that forest management should maximise increments, not stocks to be more efficient in sense of climate change mitigation. This is true especially for regions which have already high carbon stocks in forests, what is the case in many regions in Europe. During the time span 2010–2100 the forests of EU27 will absorb additional 1750 million tC if they are managed to maximise increments compared if they are managed to maximise standing biomass. Incentives which will increase the standing biomass beyond the increment optimal biomass should therefore be avoided. Mechanisms which will maximise increments and sustainable harvests need to be developed to have substantial amounts of wood which can be used as substitution of non sustainable materials.

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<![CDATA[Case study for the assessment of the biogeophysical effects of a potential afforestation in Europe]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989db25ab0ee8fa60bd01c9

Background

A regional-scale sensitivity study has been carried out to investigate the climatic effects of forest cover change in Europe. Applying REMO (regional climate model of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology), the projected temperature and precipitation tendencies have been analysed for summer, based on the results of the A2 IPCC-SRES emission scenario simulation. For the end of the 21st century it has been studied, whether the assumed forest cover increase could reduce the effects of the greenhouse gas concentration change.

Results

Based on the simulation results, biogeophysical effects of the hypothetic potential afforestation may lead to cooler and moister conditions during summer in most parts of the temperate zone. The largest relative effects of forest cover increase can be expected in northern Germany, Poland and Ukraine, which is 15–20% of the climate change signal for temperature and more than 50% for precipitation. In northern Germany and France, potential afforestation may enhance the effects of emission change, resulting in more severe heavy precipitation events. The probability of dry days and warm temperature extremes would decrease.

Conclusions

Large contiguous forest blocks can have distinctive biogeophysical effect on the climate on regional and local scale. In certain regions of the temperate zone, climate change signal due to greenhouse gas emission can be reduced by afforestation due to the dominant evaporative cooling effect during summer. Results of this case study with a hypothetical land cover change can contribute to the assessment of the role of forests in adapting to climate change. Thus they can build an important basis of the future forest policy.

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<![CDATA[Quantifying and understanding carbon storage and sequestration within the Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania, a tropical biodiversity hotspot]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989db17ab0ee8fa60bcd680

Background

The carbon stored in vegetation varies across tropical landscapes due to a complex mix of climatic and edaphic variables, as well as direct human interventions such as deforestation and forest degradation. Mapping and monitoring this variation is essential if policy developments such as REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) are to be known to have succeeded or failed.

Results

We produce a map of carbon storage across the watershed of the Tanzanian Eastern Arc Mountains (33.9 million ha) using 1,611 forest inventory plots, and correlations with associated climate, soil and disturbance data. As expected, tropical forest stores more carbon per hectare (182 Mg C ha-1) than woody savanna (51 Mg C ha-1). However, woody savanna is the largest aggregate carbon store, with 0.49 Pg C over 9.6 million ha. We estimate the whole landscape stores 1.3 Pg C, significantly higher than most previous estimates for the region. The 95% Confidence Interval for this method (0.9 to 3.2 Pg C) is larger than simpler look-up table methods (1.5 to 1.6 Pg C), suggesting simpler methods may underestimate uncertainty. Using a small number of inventory plots with two censuses (n = 43) to assess changes in carbon storage, and applying the same mapping procedures, we found that carbon storage in the tree-dominated ecosystems has decreased, though not significantly, at a mean rate of 1.47 Mg C ha-1 yr-1 (c. 2% of the stocks of carbon per year).

Conclusions

The most influential variables on carbon storage in the region are anthropogenic, particularly historical logging, as noted by the largest coefficient of explanatory variable on the response variable. Of the non-anthropogenic factors, a negative correlation with air temperature and a positive correlation with water availability dominate, having smaller p-values than historical logging but also smaller influence. High carbon storage is typically found far from the commercial capital, in locations with a low monthly temperature range, without a strong dry season, and in areas that have not suffered from historical logging. The results imply that policy interventions could retain carbon stored in vegetation and likely successfully slow or reverse carbon emissions.

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<![CDATA[Alaska ecosystem carbon fluxes estimated from MODIS satellite data inputs from 2000 to 2010]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989da8bab0ee8fa60b9e0e6

Background

Trends in Alaska ecosystem carbon fluxes were predicted from inputs of monthly MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) vegetation index time-series combined with the NASA-CASA (Carnegie Ames Stanford Approach) carbon cycle simulation model over the past decade. CASA simulates monthly net ecosystem production (NEP) as the difference in carbon fluxes between net primary production (NPP) and soil microbial respiration (Rh).

Results

Model results showed that NEP on a unit area basis was estimated to be highest (> +10 g C m-2 yr-1) on average over the period 2000 to 2010 within the Major Land Resource Areas (MRLAs) of the Interior Brooks Range Mountains, the Arctic Foothills, and the Western Brooks Range Mountains. The lowest (as negative land C source fluxes) mean NEP fluxes were predicted for the MLRAs of the Cook Inlet Lowlands, the Ahklun Mountains, and Bristol Bay-Northern Alaska Peninsula Lowlands. High levels of interannual variation in NEP were predicted for most MLRAs of Alaska.

Conclusions

The relatively warm and wet years of 2004 and 2007 resulted in the highest positive NEP flux totals across MLRAs in the northern and western coastal locations in the state (i.e., the Brooks Range Mountains and Arctic Foothills). The relatively cold and dry years of 2001 and 2006 were predicted with the lowest (negative) NEP flux totals for these MLRAs, and likewise across the Ahklun Mountains and the Yukon-Kuskokwim Highlands.

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<![CDATA[The State of Climate Negotiations: a personal scientific commentary]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989da51ab0ee8fa60b8de2e

Humanity seems unable to rein in its CO2 emissions, and yet the author finds reasons for hope.

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