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Carbon stock under major land use/land cover types of Hades sub-watershed, eastern Ethiopia

Toru, Tessema, Kibret, Kibebew
Carbon balance and management 2019 v.14 no.1 pp. 7
agroforestry, carbon sequestration, carbon sinks, cropland, decision making, forests, grazing, grazing lands, greenhouse gases, land use, perennials, production technology, soil depth, soil organic carbon, soil sampling, subwatersheds, total organic carbon, Ethiopia
BACKGROUND: Developing land management scenarios that have the potential to sequester carbon and reduce greenhouse gasses (GHG) emission on a sustainable basis entails quantifying the current carbon stock under different land uses. In light of this, a study was conducted in Hades sub-watershed, eastern Ethiopia, to explore the carbon stock under four major land uses: natural forest, coffee agroforestry, grazing land and cropland, involving samples from four carbon pools: aboveground, belowground, litter, and soil. To this end, vegetation and soil samples were collected from the respective land uses following recommended procedures. RESULTS: The results indicate that organic carbon concentration decreased with soil depth though substantial amount of carbon was found in the lower soil depths under land use with woody perennials. The mean total organic carbon stock ranged from 138.95 t ha⁻¹ in the cropland to 496.26 t ha⁻¹ in the natural forest. The soil organic carbon stock was found to be relatively higher than that of the vegetation carbon stock in the natural forest and coffee agroforestry land uses. CONCLUSION: This study highlights the importance of assessing watershed level carbon stock for better and carbon friendly land use decision making. Land uses with woody perennials have high carbon stock than those without. Hence, conservation-based production systems with inclusion of woody perennials are options suggested to enhance carbon sequestration in the sub watershed.