Scenarios in tropical forest degradation: Carbon stock trajectories for REDD+

Rafael B. Andrade*, Jennifer K. Balch, Amoreena L. Parsons, Dolors Armenteras, Rosa Maria Roman-Cuesta, Janette Bulkan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Human-caused disturbance to tropical rainforests-such as logging and fire-causes substantial losses of carbon stocks. This is a critical issue to be addressed in the context of policy discussions to implement REDD+. This work reviews current scientific knowledge about the temporal dynamics of degradation-induced carbon emissions to describe common patterns of emissions from logging and fire across tropical forest regions. Using best available information, we: (i) develop short-term emissions factors (per area) for logging and fire degradation scenarios in tropical forests; and (ii) describe the temporal pattern of degradation emissions and recovery trajectory post logging and fire disturbance. Results: Average emissions from aboveground biomass were 19.9 MgC/ha for logging and 46.0 MgC/ha for fire disturbance, with an average period of study of 3.22 and 2.15 years post-disturbance, respectively. Longer-term studies of post-logging forest recovery suggest that biomass accumulates to pre-disturbance levels within a few decades. Very few studies exist on longer-term (>10 years) effects of fire disturbance in tropical rainforests, and recovery patterns over time are unknown. Conclusions: This review will aid in understanding whether degradation emissions are a substantial component of country-level emissions portfolios, or whether these emissions would be offset by forest recovery and regeneration.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6
JournalCarbon Balance and Management
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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