Estimation and mapping of carbon stocks in Bosomkese Forest Reserve, Ghana

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Biomass estimation has become a critical element in global environmental studies, because the change in biomass is deemed as an important component of climate change. The aim of this research is to estimate and map carbon stocks in Bosomkese forest reserve using remote sensing, GIS applications and field measurement method. Out of the six carbon pools of terrestrial ecosystem, carbon sequestration of three (above ground, below ground and deadwood) were assessed. Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS) image acquired in 2010 was classified using Erdas Imagine. Total of five land use/land cover classes were identified; Closed canopy natural forest, open canopy natural forest, plantation, farmland and fallow land. Diameter at breast height and total height of standing trees as well as the end diameters and the length of downed deadwood were measured in fifty sample plots in the five land use classes. These measurements were converted into above ground carbon (AGC), below ground carbon (BGC) and deadwood carbon (DWC) using allometric equations. Total carbon for each plot was the summation of AGC, BGC and DWC. This research showed that closed canopy natural forest (1748.37 ton/Ha) contained more carbon than the rest of the land use/cover classes. This was followed by open canopy natural forest (1164.12 ton/Ha), plantation (775 ton/Ha), fallow land (110.69 ton/Ha) and farmland (45.13 ton/Ha) in descending order of total carbon stocks. The carbon / carbon dioxide equivalent value together with the plots coordinates were used to generate carbon stock and carbon dioxide equivalent map using Geostatistics tool of ArcGIS 10.0. The total carbon stock for the whole Bosomkese forest is in the range of 2,236,938.90 – 2,865,148.33 tons and carbon dioxide equivalent in the range of 8,534,225.45 – 10,507,952.05 tons. This research has given an estimated carbon stock in Bosomkese forest reserve which can be used as baseline carbon information. With continuous biomass estimation at ten years interval, change in biomass can be determined which will help decision makers in their planning on climate change in Bosomkese, its environment and the country as a whole.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Geomatic Engineering in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Master of Science in Geomatic Engineering,