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The effects of land cover change on carbon stock dynamics in a dry Afromontane forest in northern Ethiopia

Solomon, Negasi, Pabi, Opoku, Annang, Ted, Asante, Isaac K., Birhane, Emiru
Carbon balance and management 2018 v.13 no.1 pp. 14
carbon, carbon sequestration, carbon sinks, climate change, forest ecosystems, forest management, forests, grasslands, issues and policy, land cover, remote sensing, surveys, trees, variance, Ethiopia
BACKGROUND: Forests play an important role in mitigating global climate change by capturing and sequestering atmospheric carbon. Quantitative estimation of the temporal and spatial pattern of carbon storage in forest ecosystems is critical for formulating forest management policies to combat climate change. This study explored the effects of land cover change on carbon stock dynamics in the Wujig Mahgo Waren forest, a dry Afromontane forest that covers an area of 17,000 ha in northern Ethiopia. RESULTS: The total carbon stocks of the Wujig Mahgo Waren forest ecosystems estimated using a multi-disciplinary approach that combined remote sensing with a ground survey were 1951, 1999, and 1955 GgC in 1985, 2000 and 2016 years respectively. The mean carbon stocks in the dense forests, open forests, grasslands, cultivated lands and bare lands were estimated at 181.78 ± 27.06, 104.83 ± 12.35, 108.77 ± 6.77, 76.54 ± 7.84 and 83.11 ± 8.53 MgC ha⁻¹ respectively. The aboveground vegetation parameters (tree density, DBH and height) explain 59% of the variance in soil organic carbon. CONCLUSIONS: The obtained estimates of mean carbon stocks in ecosystems representing the major land cover types are of importance in the development of forest management plan aimed at enhancing mitigation potential of dry Afromontane forests in northern Ethiopia.