Predicting chronosequential changes in carbon stocks of pachymorph bamboo communities in slash-and-burn agricultural fallow, northern Lao People's Democratic Republic uri icon

abstract

  • In northern Lao People's Democratic Republic, rising human population has drastically reduced the fallow period of slash-and-burn agriculture which has led to a considerable decrease in the carbon stock in these communities. We estimated chronosequential changes in the communities' carbon stocks, and established the relationship between the fallow period and fallow-period-average carbon stocks in three carbon pools of bamboo-dominated communities in hilly areas of the Luang Prabang Province, northern Lao People's Democratic Republic. Based on measurements by destructive sampling, we devised a model and root-to-shoot ratios for estimating bamboo biomass. In six secondary plant communities established after slash-and-burn cropping, we estimated community biomass using the above model and others, and measured deadwood and litter stocks. The communities' biomass and deadwood significantly increased with time after the last cropping and the former reached about 100 Mg ha(-1) after 15 years, whereas litter stocks did not show significant trends over time. Extending the fallow period from 2 to 5 years would increase fallow-period-average carbon stock from 14.2 to 25.1 Mg C ha(-1). The overstory height was significantly correlated with biomass, deadwood, and litter carbon stocks of these communities. Based on our findings, changes in a community's carbon stocks can be estimated using the changes in overstory height, which should be taken into account in future studies to reduce uncertainty in estimating carbon stocks in tropical ecosystems.

publication date

  • 2007
  • 2007