Environmental Conservation

  • Environmental Conservation / Volume 41 / Issue 01 / March 2014, pp 64-72
  • Copyright © Foundation for Environmental Conservation 2013 The online version of this article is published within an Open Access environment subject to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike licence <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/>. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use.
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0376892913000295 (About DOI), Published online: 11 September 2013
  • OPEN ACCESS

Papers

Relationships between tree species diversity and above-ground biomass in Central African rainforests: implications for REDD

MICHAEL DAYa1 c1, CRISTINA BALDAUFa2, ERVAN RUTISHAUSERa1 and TERRY C. H. SUNDERLANDa1

a1 Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Bogor, Indonesia

a2 Universidade Federal Rural do Semi-Árido, Mossoró, Brazil

SUMMARY

Tropical forests are both important stores of carbon and among the most biodiverse ecosystems on the planet. Reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) schemes are designed to mitigate the impacts of climate change, by conserving tropical forests threatened by deforestation or degradation. REDD schemes also have the potential to contribute significantly to biodiversity conservation efforts within tropical forests, however biodiversity conservation and carbon sequestration need to be aligned more closely for this potential to be realized. This paper analyses the relationship between tree species diversity and above-ground biomass (AGB) derived from 1-ha tree plots in Central African rainforests. There was a weakly significant correlation between tree biomass and tree species diversity (r = 0.21, p = 0.03), and a significantly higher mean species diversity in plots with larger AGB estimates (M = 44.38 species in the top eight plots, compared to M = 35.22 in the lower eight plots). In these Central African plots, the relationship between tree species diversity and AGB appeared to be highly variable; nonetheless, high species diversity may often be related to higher biomass and, in such cases, REDD schemes may enhance biodiversity by targeting species diverse forests.

(Received May 06 2012)

(Accepted June 20 2013)

(Online publication September 11 2013)

Keywords:

  • biomass;
  • Central Africa;
  • REDD;
  • species diversity;
  • tropical forests

Correspondence

c1 Correspondence: Michael Day, PO Box 0113 BOCBD, Situgede, Sindang Barang, Bogor Barat 16115, Indonesia Tel +62 251 8622622 Fax: +62 251 8622100 e-mail: m.day@cgiar.org

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