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Download PDF by Gerald Busch: Accounting of biological sinks and sources under the Kyoto

By Gerald Busch

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Example text

There are enormous differences in the distribution of carbon stocks between tropical and temperate grasslands. The ratio of soil carbon to biomass carbon stocks figures about 25:1 in temperate grasslands and 3:1 in tropical grasslands. 5 t C ha-1 from biomass. These figures are 36% lower than the global averages stated above. As concerns development over time, similar conditions arise as in conversion from forest to cropland. The decrease in losses is exponential, and a new equilibrium at a low level is established over a period of 30–100 years.

1996). Soil carbon stocks (including the organic layer) reach a minimum some 10–20 years after forest harvest (Black and Harden, 1995; Covington, 1981). There have been no studies to date on the long-term development of carbon stocks after several rotations of a timber plantation. There is some evidence to suggest that repeated harvesting does not compromise the constancy of soil carbon stocks (Johnson, 1992). This form of human intervention would therefore not be accounted for under Article 3 para 3 of the Kyoto Protocol, even where forest degradation does de facto lead to deforestation.

G. 8 porting the timber. After conserving unmanaged primary forests, the next best option for maximizing carbon sequestration in forests is presumably management by continuous selection cutting, which permits a large biomass in the standing stock (cf. Section 9, Glossary) (Fischlin, 1996). However, this form of management is not possible at all sites, nor presumably in all climate zones. Spruce monocultures and mixed deciduous forests do not exhibit fundamentally different carbon stocks. It must however be stressed that a conversion of forests to monocultures has considerable impacts upon biodiversity and soil quality, and thus upon the stand stability and sustainability of these forests.

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