Research Institute for Sustainable Humanosphere

Forest carbon sequestration, a contribution of forest to reduce CO2 concentration in the atmosphere against global warming and climate change

氏名 Tran Do Van
共同研究者 山本衛
採択年 2017(平成29)年度

Photosynthesis of trees produces biomass from H2O and CO2, which is stored in forest ecosystem. The living biomass is stored in plant organs as roots, leaves, branches, and stems. While, dead biomass (organic matter) is decomposed by microorganisms to release nutrient to soil and emit CO2 to the atmosphere. Both photosynthesis and decomposition processes occur simultaneously in forest ecosystem. This is briefly known as forest carbon cycle. After autotrophic respiration (Rp) — respiration of plants to sustain their life, amount of biomass stored in forest ecosystem is known as Net Primary Production (NPP). Meanwhile, decomposing dead biomass by microorganisms to release CO2 to the atmosphere is known as heterotrophic respiration (Rs). If NPP is larger than Rs, ecosystem is accumulating carbon. While, NPP is smaller than RS, ecosystem is releasing carbon.

Net Ecosystem Production (NEP) is a fundamental property of ecosystems. It was originally defined as the difference between the amount of organic carbon fixed by photosynthesis in an ecosystem (gross primary production) and total ecosystem respiration (the sum of autotrophic and heterotrophic respiration). Based on this definition, NEP represents the organic carbon available for storage within the system or loss from it by export or non-biological oxidation. In other ways, NEP is usually described as the balance between NPP and heterotrophic respiration in an ecosystem.

Additional information on forest carbon worldwide is required to understand and control global carbon cycle, and to support regulatory REDD (Reduce Emission from Deforestation and forest Degradation). REDD is an effort to create a financial value for the carbon stored in forests, offering incentives for developing countries to reduce emissions from forested lands. REDD can be economically viable and will be accepted by the providers only if the payment for the avoided deforestation and degradation is at least as large as the opportunity cost plus transaction costs. One of the first steps towards implementation of REDD in a country level is to estimate forest carbon/NEP. Which are crucial for REDD monitoring and subsequent fundraising from public funds or carbon markets.

2017m01 PNG   Forest carbon cycle (estimating Net Ecosystem Production)