The effect of landuse change in the tropical dry forests of Morelos, Mexico on carbon stocks and fluxes

  • Návar J
  • Estrada-Salvador A
  • Estrada-Castrillón E
  • 18


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The burning of fossil fuels, deforestation and cement manufacturing contribute to carbon emission. The aim of this research was to study how carbon stocks and fluxes are influenced by landuse changes in the tropical dry forest of the state of Morelos, Mexico. The biomass of standing vegetation was estimated from 40 quadrats (400 m2 each). The biomass of 20 soil samples distributed across this ecosystem was also measured. Data on forest cover changes for 1976 and 1993, soil organic matter and soil organic carbon were used to predict carbon stocks and fluxes in this ecosystem. The annual deforestation rate for the period 1976-1993 was 0.81%, indicating that approximately 1200 ha of subtropical dry forest were lost every year. On the other hand, intensive agriculture, including induced grasslands increased 0.88% annually in the study area (1300 ha year-1). From 1950 till 2000, landuse changes from tropical dry forest to agriculture contributed to carbon emissions of 7.03 (± 4.8) Tg C, of which standing biomass averaged 66% and soil organic carbon averaged 34%. Projected landuse changes will likely contribute to an additional carbon flux of 3.89 (± 0.73) Tg by the year 2050. Practices to conserve, sequester and transfer carbon stocks in this ecosystem are discussed as managing landuse is a means to reduce carbon emissions. (English) [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

Author-supplied keywords

  • Aboveground vegetation
  • Biomass
  • Carbon
  • Roots
  • Soils

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  • SGR: 77955218854
  • ISBN: 0128-1283
  • SCOPUS: 2-s2.0-77955218854
  • ISSN: 01281283
  • PUI: 359288249


  • J. Návar

  • A. Estrada-Salvador

  • E. Estrada-Castrillón

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