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Bamboo based family forests offer opportunities for biomass production and carbon farming in North East India

Nath, Arun Jyoti, Sileshi, Gudeta W., Das, Ashesh Kumar
Land use policy 2018 v.75 pp. 191-200
Bambusa balcooa, Bambusa vulgaris, aboveground biomass, allometry, bamboos, biomass production, carbon, carbon farming, carbon sinks, climate change, culms, ecosystem services, family farms, geometry, growth models, harvesting, households, landscapes, private forestry, research and development, surveys, tree and stand measurements, villages, India
Although neglected in scientific research and development, bamboo based family forests (BBFF) have traditionally been managed on family farms because of their great socioeconomic value in India and other parts of Asia. Recently, there has been increasing interest in their role in biomass production and climate change mitigation. However, our knowledge of the contribution of BBFF at village and landscape level to biomass production and terrestrial carbon is very limited. Therefore, the objectives of this paper are to (1) quantify occurrence of bamboo resources in BBFF,(2) develop appropriate models for estimation of biomass of thick walled bamboos, and (3) estimate biomass and carbon stock in BBFFs in North East India. Occurrence of bamboo resources in BBFF was quantified through survey of 2850 households selected from 95 villages of Barak valley, North East India. Allometric models for biomass estimation were developed through destructive harvesting of 268 bamboo culms from Bambusa cacharensis, B. vulgaris and B. balcooa. The height-diameter relationships and allometric scaling between above-ground biomass (AGB), culm height (H) and diameter at breast height (D) were examined using various models.Culm height, D and AGB were allometrically related in all the three species, but the exponents were significantly larger than those expected under a geometric and stress similarity growth models. The above-ground biomass carbon density in BBFF was estimated at 16.38 Mg ha−1 for B. cacharensis, 38.42 Mg ha−1 for B. vulgaris and 19.64 Mg ha−1 for B. balcooa. In addition to the various ecosystem services provided by village grown bamboo, total biomass (52.8 Mg ha−1) and carbon (25.8 Mg ha−1) storage in BBFFs can offer an opportunity for carbon farming.