Carbon stocks in Indonesian homegarden systems: Can smallholder systems be targeted for increased carbon storage? uri icon


  • Homegardens are a common smallholder agroforestry system in Indonesia and throughout the tropics. These species-rich, tree-based systems produce non-wood and wood products for both home use and market sale. Due to their high biomass,these systems simultaneously offer potential for carbon (C) storage. While small size limits the amount of C stored by individualsmallholder agroforestry systems, on a per area basis these systems can storage as much C as some secondary forests. In aggre-gate, smallholder homegarden agroforestry systems can contribute signi®cantly to a region's carbon budget while simultaneouslyenhancing smallholder livelihoods. A ®eld study in Lampung, Indonesia indicates that homegardens with an average age of 13years store 35.3 Mg C ha±1in their above-ground biomass, which is on par with the C stocks reported for similar-aged secondaryforests in the same area. However, to compare accurately the C stocks of different land-use systems a scale is required thatadjusts C stocks of the systems' ages and rotation lengths to a common base. The time-averaged C stock, which is half the Cstock at the maximum rotation length, serves this purpose. Our projections reveal that, depending on management options, thetime-averaged above-ground C stocks of homegarden systems could vary from 30 to 123 Mg C ha±1. These projected time-aver-aged above-ground C stocks of homegardens are substantially higher than those of Imperata-cassava systems (2.2 Mg C ha±1),which is an extensive vegetation type in the study area. If homegarden systems and other smallholder tree-based systems were toexpand in currently degraded and underutilized lands, such as Imperata grasslands, the C sequestration potential would be about80 Mg C ha±1, with considerable variation depending on species composition and management practices. Clear opportunity existsto induce management that leads to higher C stocks at the systems level. However, incentive mechanisms are needed that assuresmallholders will bene®t from selecting management practices that favor higher C stocks

publication date

  • 2002