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Title: Mapping carbon pools in the regenerating forests of Brazil and Cameroon using remote sensing techniques
Author: Honzak, M.
Awarding Body: University of Wales Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 1997
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Deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels have increased atmospheric carbon dioxide levels in recent years but the rate of increase has been much slower than expected, suggesting that carbon is 'missing' from the existing carbon budget. To understand why the current increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide is slower than expected, necessitates investigation of the ways in which carbon is release into and extracted from the atmosphere at a regional to global scale. Regenerating tropical forests are potentially significant, but as yet unquantified absorbers of atmospheric carbon dioxide. To estimate the carbon flux of a given area over a specified interval of time it is necessary to detect any changes in the distribution of the various stages of tropical forest regeneration, and to also establish their characteristic carbon content (Mg ha-1). This study identifies several growth stages and the associated carbon content of the regenerating forests in the Legal Amazon and Southern Cameroon using forest inventory and remote sensing techniques. In particular, estimates of carbon content were carried out by different methods according to the character and species composition of regenerating forests. Various forests biophysical variables (LAI, tree density, basal area, etc.) were estimated and a method of ageing regenerating forests using time-series of Landsat sensor imagery was developed. The NOAA AVHRR was used to estimate the extent of several regenerating forest stages and relationships between NOAA AVHRR response, the estimated forest biophysical variables and carbon content were used to estimate carbon pools in the regenerating forests of the Legal Amazon and Southern Cameroon. In 1991-1993, regenerating forests covered approximately 157,973 km2 of the Legal Amazon representing a net carbon pool of 0.73-0.25 Pg; in Southern Cameroon, they covered approximately 29,090 km2 of the region representing a net carbon pool of 0.18-0.04 Pg.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available