Carbon storage in a dry Miombo woodland area in Tanzania

Research Article

Carbon storage in a dry Miombo woodland area in Tanzania

DOI: 10.2989/20702620.2024.2319185
Author(s): Ezekiel Edward Mwakalukwa Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania , Henrik Meilby Copenhagen University, Denmark , Thorsten Treue Copenhagen University, Denmark


A persistent need exists, both politically and academically, for knowledge on carbon storage and sequestration potentials of forest ecosystems and their contributions to the global carbon balance. This study assessed carbon stocks of a 6 065 ha dry Miombo woodland site in Iringa Rural district, Tanzania. The carbon stock for each of the six pools: trees, shrubs, deadwood, herbaceous vegetation (grass and herbs), surface litter and soil were estimated. Assuming a 50% carbon share of biomass, the results showed that the aboveground carbon stocks were: 24.71 Mg C ha−1 for trees; 10.88 Mg C ha−1 for shrubs; 0.54 Mg C ha−1 for deadwood; 0.58 Mg C ha−1 for herbaceous vegetation; and 2.47 Mg C ha−1 for surface litter. Soil carbon was estimated separately for two depth ranges: 0–15 cm and 15–30 cm below the surface. These soil strata contributed 21.24 Mg C ha−1 and 8.22 Mg C ha−1 respectively. The total carbon (C) stock of the six pools was 68.64 Mg C ha−1. Considering the vast area covered by dry Miombo woodlands in Tanzania and in 10 other countries in south-eastern Africa, the carbon stock of these ecosystems is clearly tremendous, underscoring the importance of conserving them.

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