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Title: Carbon uptake by secondary forests in Brazilian Amazonia
Authors: Fearnside, Philip Martin
Guimarães, Walba Malheiros
Keywords: Biomass Emission
Carbon Budget
Carbon Uptake
Net Emission Calculation
Secondary Forest Growth
Issue Date: 1996
metadata.dc.publisher.journal: Forest Ecology and Management
metadata.dc.relation.ispartof: Volume 80, Número 1-3, Pags. 35-46
Abstract: Estimating the contribution of deforestation to greenhouse gas emissions requires calculations of the uptake of carbon by the vegetation that replaces the forest, as well as the emissions from burning and decay of forest biomass and from altered emissions and uptakes by the soil. The role of regeneration in offsetting emissions from deforestation in the Brazilian Legal Amazon has sometimes been exaggerated. Unlike many other tropical areas, cattle pasture (rather than shifting cultivation) usually replaces forest in Brazilian Amazonia. Degraded cattle pastures regenerate secondary forests more slowly than do fallows in shifting cultivation systems, leading to lower uptake of carbon. The calculations presented here indicate that in 1990 the 410 × 103 km2 deforested landscape was taking up 29 × 106 t of carbon (C) annually (0.7 t C ha-1 year-1). This does not include the emissions from clearing of secondary forests, which in 1990 released an estimated 27 × 106 t C, almost completely offsetting the uptake from the landscape. Were the present land-use change processes to continue, carbon uptake would rise to 365 × 106 t annually (0.9 t C ha-1 year-1) in 2090 in the 3.9 × 106 km2 area that would have been deforested by that year. The 1990 rate of emissions from deforestation in the region greatly exceeded the uptake from regrowth of replacement vegetation. © 1996 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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