Phytomass carbon pool of trees and forests in India

M. Kaul, G.M.J. Mohren, V.K. Dadhwal

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13 Citations (Scopus)


The study reports estimates of above ground phytomass carbon pools in Indian forests for 1992 and 2002 using two different methodologies. The first estimate was derived from remote sensing based forest area and crown density estimates, and growing stock data for 1992 and 2002 and the estimated pool size was in the range 2,626–3,071 Tg C (41 to 48 Mg C ha-1) and 2,660–3,180 Tg C (39 to 47 Mg C ha-1) for 1992 and 2002, respectively. The second methodology followed IPCC 2006 guidelines and using an initial 1992 pool of carbon, the carbon pool for 2002 was estimated to be in the range of 2,668–3,112 Tg C (39 to 46 Mg C ha-1), accounting for biomass increment and removals for the period concerned. The estimated total biomass increment was about 458 Tg over the period 1992–2002. Removals from forests include mainly timber and fuel wood, whereby the latter includes large uncertainty as reported extraction is lower than actual consumption. For the purpose of this study, the annual extraction values of 23 million m3 for timber and 126 million m3 for fuel wood were used. Out of the total area, 10 million ha are plantation forests with an average productivity (3.2 Mg ha-1 year-1) that is higher than natural forests, a correction of 408 Tg C for the 10 year period was incorporated in total estimated phytomass carbon pool of Indian forests. This results in an estimate for the net sink of 4 Tg C year-1. Both approaches indicate Indian forests to be sequestering carbon and both the estimates are in agreement with recent studies. A major uncertainty in Indian phytomass carbon pool dynamics is associated with trees outside forests and with soil organic carbon dynamics. Using recent remote-sensing based estimates of
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-259
JournalClimatic Change
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • land-use change
  • spatial-distribution
  • growing stock
  • biomass

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