Working Paper Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Estimating carbon storage of Biteyu forest in the Gurage Mountain Chain, Ethiopia

Version 1 : Received: 13 July 2021 / Approved: 14 July 2021 / Online: 14 July 2021 (14:07:11 CEST)

How to cite: Shanka, T.S.; Demissew, S. Estimating carbon storage of Biteyu forest in the Gurage Mountain Chain, Ethiopia. Preprints 2021, 2021070338 Shanka, T.S.; Demissew, S. Estimating carbon storage of Biteyu forest in the Gurage Mountain Chain, Ethiopia. Preprints 2021, 2021070338

Abstract

The carbon stocks in the forests originated from the atmosphere and are accumulated in the organic matter of trees and soils. Forests play major roles in providing ecosystem services like climate change mitigation through carbon sequestration and nutrient flow dynamics. Therefore, the major objective of this study was to estimate carbon stocks of Biteyu forest by quantifying the aboveground biomass of trees, belowground carbon, soil carbon, and carbon stocks of litter pool. Systematic sampling technique was employed for vegetation and carbon data collection. The total of 10 line transects were laid along elevational gradients. The transects were 500 m apart and sampling plots were 300 m apart from each other. Each transect has comprised of a minimum of 4 plots to a maximum of six totaling 50 plots representing the forest for the investigation. A square sample plot of 900 m2 was used to collect vegetation data with a DBH ≥ 2.5 cm and a height of 2 m and above. To sample herbaceous vegetation in the forest floor, five smaller subplots of 1 m x 1 m = 1 m2 (four at the corner and one at the centre of the main plot) were established. The disturbance level was also determined using the cattle interference and selective cutting of trees. The appropriate allometric models were applied for both aboveground and belowground biomass estimations. The findings showed that cattle interference affects the forest understory from growing and recruitment. The mean of cattle interference was 4.77±2.12 per ha and the mean of wood stump was 26.67±9.37 per ha. The size class analysis showed that the smallest diameter class (2.5-10 cm) in the forests represented 37.05% of the total stem density. The diameter classes between 10 and 30 cm comprised a stem density of 41.08%. It was estimated that the total carbon stock of Biteyu forest was about 166.67 ± 16.4 ha-1. The carbon stock in AGB and BGB was estimated to be 87.13 ± 11.80 t ha-1 and 22.94 ± 2.84 t ha-1, respectively. Moreover, the contribution of soil and litter carbon pools to the total carbon in the forest ecosystem were 56.37 ± 1.73 and 0.26 ± 0.01 t ha-1 , respectively. From the present study it can be concluded that estimated mean carbon stock of the forest is smaller than that of other similar forests in the dry evergreen montane forest, which was attributed to the higher anthropogenic disturbances. Therefore, the interventions, which reduce the climate change effect, would be very important in the maintenance of forest ecosystem functioning.

Subject Areas

aboveground biomass, Belowground biomass, Biteyu forest, Carbon stocks, disturbance

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