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Potential and Determinants of Carbon Storage of Freshwater Swamp Forests in the Niger Delta

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JournalOpen Journal of Ecology
DateAccepted/In press - 24 Mar 2017
DatePublished (current) - 27 Mar 2017
Issue number3
Volume7
Number of pages12
Pages (from-to)1-12
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

There has been an increase in carbon assessments across global ecosystems, but some ecosystem types remain woefully understudied-freshwater swamp forests are one such ecosystem. Results of the above ground carbon estimates are derived from 16, one-hectare forest plots divided evenly across four forest sites. Results on carbon storage are compared with results on forest use and ownership from interviews with communities living in the area. Since forest use determined the composition, structure and the capacity of the ecosystem to sequester carbon; its above ground carbon decreased from the undisturbed forest plots to the disturbed (modified) sites across the sites. Forest units under communal ownership demonstrated possibilities of actualizing targeted/ restricted use of tree species, as well as targeted carbon storage capacities. Even though joint ownership and management schemes are likely to regulate the use of the ecosystem, and possibly enhance better carbon sequestration, achieving this still seems elusive due to a long existing land tenure system and generational inheritance of (forest) lands across the region. Carbon sequestration across the region will remain under threat unless suitable awareness on forest management is backed up with alternative sources of livelihood, incentives and compensation to the custodians of the forest resources.

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© 2017 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

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