Modeling carbon stock dynamics under fallow and cocoa agroforest systems in the shifting agricultural landscape of Central Cameroon

With increasing concerns raised by climate change, understanding biological processes within cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.) agroforest (CAF) and fallow systems is a prerequisite for developing actions related to emission reduction in the shifting agricultural landscape of Cameroon. Carbon (C) stocks and accretion were assessed and modeled in various C components (large trees, small trees, dead wood, litter, roots, soil, and total C) of fallow and CAF systems along a 50-year chronosequence. Several functions were empirically fitted to a time series of C stocks. Large tree, soil, and total C stocks were best described by a logistic growth function while that for small trees by a rational quadratic function. The best-fitted functions explained 72–96 % of C stock accumulation over time. Two metrics describing C stock accretion were derived from these functions: the point of maximum C growth and the C growth coefficient (GC). The rate of maximum growth of total C stock was reached after 12–13 years in both fallow and CAF, with maximum GCs of 6.9 and 6.3 Mg C ha−1 year−1, respectively. Over the 50-year period, the GCs of total C stocks varied between 0.2 and 6.9 Mg C ha−1 year−1, with quick accumulation within the first decade that then slowed until it levelled off after 45 years. Over a period of about 30 years, both systems sequestered a total of ~200 Mg C ha−1. This indicates that cocoa agroforests, a main source of income for local populations, can also provide significant climate change mitigation services.
Authors: Silatsa, F.B.; Yemefack, M.; Ewane-Nonga, N.; Kemga, A.; Hanna, R.
Subjects: climate change, carbon stock, cocoa, agroforestry
Publication type: ISI, Journal Article, Publication
Year: 2017
ISSN: 0167-4366

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