Carbon emissions from forests have decreased in the past decade due to conservation efforts, however majority of carbon losses suffered in the past went unnoticed until the role of forests in mitigating climate change was realized. Forestry sector in developing countries is recognized as one of the largest and low cost mitigation options to address climate change. The present study was conducted to assess the multi-temporal biomass carbon mitigation in the temperate forests of western Himalaya using satellite (Landsat MSS, TM, ETM+) and forest inventory data. Forest type density mapping was done through on-screen visual interpretation of satellite data. After conducting preliminary survey in 2009, 45 quadrats (0.1 ha) were laid in six forest types for collecting field inventory data viz., diameter at breast height, tree height, slope and aspect. Biomass carbon (t ha−1) was estimated for different forest types with different crown densities (open with 10–40% crown density and closed with >40%) using recommended regression equations, ratios and factors. A decreasing trend of carbon (145.13–134.87 mt) was observed over the period of time. Temporal biomass carbon dynamics was analyzed for REDD+ opportunities. The temporal variation of carbon observed was found to be more useful for claiming benefits under negative options (deforestation and forest degradation) of REDD+. The study doesn’t take actual conversions to CO2 into account. However, the findings are useful in establishing baseline emissions through temporal carbon losses. Further, the study helps in identification of location specific socio-economic drivers of losses that can be used for appropriate mitigation interventions.
Environmental Earth Sciences – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 21, 2017
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