The carbon sequestration potential of ´analog´ forestry in Ecuador: an alternative strategy for reforestation of degraded pastures (2020)

Authors: Raúl Armando Ramos Veintimilla, David MacFarlane, and Lauren Cooper
Location: Cumandá Canton, Chimborazo province, Ecuador

Forests serve as terrestrial sinks for CO2 in the process called carbon sequestration. The study compares the carbon sequestration potential among three different land-use systems: analog forest, teak monoculture plantation, and degraded pasture.

  • The researchers measured the carbon storage in above-ground plant biomass (including leaf litter) and below-ground biomass (soil).
  • The analog forest had higher total carbon content (177.50 t C ha-1) compared to the teak plantation (140.54 t C ha-1) and the degraded pasture (123.68 t C ha-1) (see Figure below).
  • Although the above-ground carbon content was similar between the analog forest and the teak plantation, the soil carbon content was significantly higher in the analog forest.
  • The authors concluded that the analog forest system stored more carbon because of its ability to efficiently balance above- and below-ground carbon storage; the soil in the analog forest was also healthier, making the analog forest sustainable in the long term.
  • In addition, the analog forest provided a different portfolio of timber and non-timber forest products and materials and could support the well-being and the economy of people living in that area.

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