Carbon sequestration in tropical grassland ecosystems

Edited by L. 't Mannetje, M.C. Amézquita, P. Buurman and M.A. Ibrahim 
Wageningen Academic Publishers  2008  

Hardcover  224 pp  ISBN 9789086860265      £65.00
The increasing scientific consensus on global warming, together with the precautionary principle and the fear of non-linear climate transitions is leading to increasing action to mitigate global warming. To help mitigate global warming, carbon storage by forests is often mentioned as the only or the best way to reduce the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere.

This book presents evidence that tropical grasslands, which cover 50% of the earth's surface, are as important as forests for the sequestration of carbon.

Results are reported of a large five year on-farm research project carried out in Latin America (Colombia, Costa Rica). Soil and vegetation carbon stocks of long-established pasture, fodder bank and silvopastoral systems on commercial farms were compared with those of adjacent forest and degraded land. The objective was to identify production systems that both increase livestock productivity and farm income and, at the same time, contribute to a reduction of carbon accumulation in the atmosphere.

The project was carried out in four ecosystems: the Andean hillsides of the semi-evergreen forest in Colombia; the Colombian humid Amazonian tropical forest ecosystem; the sub-humid tropical forest ecosystem on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica; and the humid tropical forest ecosystem on the Atlantic Coast of Costa Rica.

The book is recommended reading for research and teaching scientists and policy makers with an interest to mitigating global warming.



Executive summary

Foreword: in search of new horizons in socio-environmental policies, Manuel Rodriguez-Becerra
The need for action and policy makers, Research findings and CDM, Socio-economic relevance: soil restoration and poverty alleviation, Future research

Chapter 1. Introduction, M.C. Amezquita, E. Murgeitio, B.L. Ramirez and M.A. Ibrahim
Tropical America: land use, land use change, economic and environmental importance of pasture and silvopastoral production systems, Description of ecosystems, The Andean Hillsides ecosystem, The Amazonian humid tropical forest ecosystem, Sub-humid and humid tropical forest ecosystems, Costa Rica

Chapter 2. Methodology of bio-physical research, M.C. Amezquita, M. Chacon, T. LLanderal, M.A. Ibrahim, J. Rojas and P. Buurman
C stocks in long-established land use systems, Research sites and farms, Sampling design, variables measured and statistical analysis, Soil C changes in newly established systems on degraded land, Sampling strategy, variables measured and statistical analysis, C stocks in the tree component of silvopastoral systems, forage banks and forest, Statistical analysis,Carbon sequestration in tropical grassland ecosytems

Chapter 3. C stocks and sequestration, M.C. Amezquita, E. Amezquita, F. Casasola, B.L. Ramirez, H. Giraldo, M.E. Gomez, T. Llanderal, J. Velazquez and M.A. Ibrahim
C stocks in long-established land use systems, Andean Hillsides, Colombia, Amazonia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Soil C sequestration by newly established improved land use systems on degraded land, Andean Hillsides, Colombia, Amazonia, Colombia, Costa Rica, C stock distribution in the soil profile in the various ecosystems, General discussion of C stocks and sequestration, Long-established land use systems, Short-term experiments

Chapter 4. Analysis of soil variability and data consistency, P. Buurman and O. Mosquera
Introduction, Homogeneity of soils, Consistency of C analyses, Results, Homogeneity of soils in trial fields, Total and oxidisable C, Conclusions

Chapter 5. Factors affecting soil C stocks: a multivariate analysis Approach, P. Buurman, M.C. Amezquita and H. F. Ramirez
Introduction, Results and discussion, Conclusions

Chapter 6. Methodology of socio-economic research, J. Gobbi, B.L. Ramirez, J. Munoz and P. Cuellar
Introduction, Conceptual framework of the socio-economic research, Stages of socio-economic research, Carbon sequestration in tropical grassland ecosytems, Farmers' participation, Data gathering, Data analysis, Farm production and financial indicators, Simulation of investment scenarios

Chapter 7. Socio-economic results, B.L. Ramirez, P. Cuellar, J.A. Gobbi and J. Munoz
Amazonia, Farm characterization, Farm income indicators, Investment models, Description of models, Model results, Policy implications, Andean Hillsides, Colombia, Farm types studied in the project and their characteristics, Farming systems in the Andean Hillsides, Socio-economic base-line of the studied farms, Farm productivity and labour force, Economic analysis, Financial models for the different types of land use, Description of the models, Establishment costs of silvopastoral systems, Results of the models, Conclusions, Costa Rica, Characteristics of the region, Farm characterisation, Farmer characteristics, Investment models, Policy implications

Chapter 8. Reflections on modelling and extrapolation in tropical soil carbon sequestration, B. Van Putten and M.C. Amezquita
Introduction, What is modelling of C stocks, and why should it be applied?, Process based simulation (PBS) models, Description of PBS models, The usefulness of PBS models, The classical statistical approach, The spatial statistics approach, The pseudo-chronosequence approach, Extrapolation in conclusions and recommendations

Chapter 9. Extrapolation of results to similar environments in Tropical America, V.W.P. van Engelen and J.R.M. Huting
Introduction, Characterisation of the ecosystems, Extrapolation method, Extrapolation criteria, Ecosystem 1, Andean Hillsides, Colombia, Ecosystem 2, Humid Tropical Forest, Amazonia, Colombia, Ecosystem 3, Humid Tropical Forest, Atlantic Coast, Costa Rica, Ecosystem 4, Sub-humid Tropical Forest, Pacific Coast, Costa Rica, Results, Ecosystem 1, Andean Hillsides, Colombia, Ecosystem 2, Humid Tropical Forest, Amazonia, Colombia, Ecosystem 3, Humid Tropical Forest, Atlantic Coast, Costa Rica, Ecosystem 4, Sub-humid Tropical Forest, Pacific Coast, Costa Rica, Conclusions

Chapter 10. Conclusions and policy recommendations, J.A. Gobbi, M.C. Amezquita, M. Ibrahim and E. Murgueitio
Implications for global policies on climate change, Implications for national policies on climate change and land use, References

Participating organizations, scientists, assistants, students and Farmers

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Wageningen Academic Publishers : carbon cycle : climate change : ecology : grasses : policy

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