Policies to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation largely depend on accurate estimates of tropical forest carbon stocks. Here we present the first field-based carbon stock data for the Central Congo Basin in Yangambi, Democratic Republic of Congo. We find an average aboveground carbon stock of 162 +/- 20 Mg C ha(-1) for intact old-growth forest, which is significantly lower than stocks recorded in the outer regions of the Congo Basin. The best available tree height-diameter relationships derived for Central Africa do not render accurate canopy height estimates for our study area. Aboveground carbon stocks would be overestimated by 24% if these inaccurate relationships were used. The studied forests have a lower stature compared with forests in the outer regions of the basin, which confirms remotely sensed patterns. Additionally, we find an average soil carbon stock of 111 +/- 24 Mg C ha(-1), slightly influenced by the current land-use change.
- tropical forests
- live biomass