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  • Assessing carbon stocks and

    modelling winwin scenarios

    of carbon sequestration

    through land-use changes

  • Assessing carbon stocks and

    modelling winwin scenarios

    of carbon sequestration

    through land-use changes

    by Raul Ponce-Hernandez

    with contributions fromParviz Koohafkan

    and Jacques Antoine



    Rome, 2004

  • FAO 2004

    The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal or development status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

    All rights reserved. Reproduction and dissemination of material in this information product for educational or other non-commercial purposes are authorized without any prior written permission from the copyright holders provided the sources is fully acknowledged. Reproduction of material in this information product for resale or other commercial purposes is prohibited without written permission of the copyright holders. Applications for such permission should be addressed to the Chief, Publishing Management Service, Information Division, FAO, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100 Rome, Italy or by e-mail to copyright@fao.org

  • Summaryxi

    Introduction 1Outline of the methodology 5Assessment of biomass and carbon stock in present land use


    Modelling carbon dynamics in soils 29

    Integrating the assessment of total carbon stocks to carbon sequestration potential with land-use change


    Biodiversity assessment 69Land degradation assessment 81

    Analysis of land-use change scenarios for decision-making


    Discussion 115



    Bibliography149Conclusions and recommendations143






  • iv




    les 1. Use of each nested quadrat site for sampling and measurement2. Estimation of biomass of tropical forests using regression equations

    of biomass as a function of DBH

    3. Estimation of crown or canopy volume as a function of the shape of the crown

    4. Minimum data set for aboveground biomass estimation

    5. Non-destructive methods for root biomass estimation

    6. Summary description of the CENTURY model as per SOMNET

    7. Summary description of the RothC-26.3 model as per SOMNET

    8. Codes used in CENTURY to define each of the major land-use types

    9. Specific information by major kind of land use for CENTURY

    10. Variables describing irrigation in CENTURY

    11. Parameters of file IRRI.100

    12. Relationships between suitability classes and crop yields

    13. Diversity indices for assessing plant diversity

    14. Approaches to land degradation assessment

    15. Physical degradation

    16. Chemical degradation

    17. Biological degradation

    18. General information to be collected from the study area for land

    degradation assessment (e.g. Texcoco watershed, Mexico)

    19. Data compilation table for physical land degradation by water

    20. USLE results calculated from nomographs and by using GIS functions

    21. Data compiled for the calculation of the crusting index (CI) and other factors

    pertaining to the assessment of degradation by compaction and crusting

    22. Data compiled for the assessment of salinization and sodication of soils

    23. Data collected on soil toxicity

    24. Data and information collected on the biological degradation of soils

    25. Relevant and useful data and information used in the assessment

    of land degradation per land cover class or LUT

    26. Rating system for land degradation assessment (after FAO, 1979)

    soil erosion by water

    27. Rating system for land degradation assessment (after FAO, 1979)

    degradation by wind erosion

    28. Rating system for land degradation assessment (after FAO, 1979)

    based on indicator variables of biological degradation

    29. Ratings for evaluating physical land degradation based on values

    of indicator variables for compaction and crusting

    30. Calculated current risk for each type of degradation

    31. Calculated state of present land degradation (e.g. Texcoco River Watershed, Mexico)

    32. Degradation classes for Texcoco watershed by sampling quadrats

    33. Land degradation process classification by land cover polygon

    34. Results of applying the maximum limitation method on land degradation

    for the Texcoco watershed by land cover class polygon

  • list






    1. Assessment of carbon stock in present land use

    2. Estimation of biomass and carbon in aboveground pool of present land use

    3. Procedures for generating a land cover class map from multispectral

    classification of satellite images

    4. Quadrat sampling for biomass, biodiversity and land degradation assessments

    5. Processes and activities in the sampling design of field surveys of biomass,

    biodiversity and land degradation

    6. Allometric measurements in forest vegetation within the sampling quadrat, 10x10 m

    7. Estimation of carbon stock in current land use and soils (belowground pool)

    through simulation modelling

    8. Extraction of soil and climate parameters from agro-ecological cells or

    polygons for model parameterization

    9. Partitioning of the basic components of organic matter in the soil in RothC-26.3

    (after Coleman and Jenkinson, 1995a)

    10. Structure of the SOM and carbon submodel in CENTURY

    (after Parton et al., 1992)

    11. Compartments of the CENTURY model

    12. Relationship between programs and file structures in the CENTURY model

    13. Scheduling input screen

    14. Initial screen of the Soil-C interface

    15. Input of site parameters in the Soil-C interface

    16. Input of site parameters: climate variables in Soil-C

    17. Organic matter initial parameters for specific ecosystems

    18. Scheduling events and management with the Soil-C interface

    19. Selection of output variables and output file specification for interface with GIS

    20. Assessment of carbon sequestration in PLUTs

    21. Land suitability assessment for PLUTs, including carbon sequestration potential

    22. Estimation of carbon sequestration by PLUT

    23. Assessment of species diversity and agrobiodiversity of actual land use

    24. A field data form for recording biodiversity data

    25. Graph of plant diversity indices against number of sampling quadrat sites

    to determine the number of sites needed

    26. Customized biodiversity database (plants)

    27. Physical degradation soil erosion by wind

    28. Maximum limitation classification of land degradation by land cover class for

    physical, chemical and biological degradation

    29. Assessment of carbon sequestration potential, biodiversity and land degradation

    from LUC scenarios

    30. Example of the optimization model for a single objective

    31. Procedure for model building and its application in participatory

    decision-making using the AHP

    32. Example of AHP model for gathering stakeholder preferences and

    participatory decision-making

    33. Optimal LUC scenarios developed by linking the AHP and the optimization

    (goal programming) process to the GIS

    34. Example of the implementation of a goal programming model with LINDO

  • vi




    tes 1. Sampling a 10x10 m quadrat, concentrating on the tree layerand land degradation assessment.

    2. Work in the 5x5 m quadrat concentrating on the shrub layer,

    deadwood and debris.

    3. Work in the 1x1 m quadrat concentrating on the herbaceous layer,

    both of crops and of pastures and litter sampling.

    4. Quadrat sampling concentrating on agro-ecosystems.

    Contents of the CD-ROM

    1. Report

    2. Three case studiesTEXCOCO RIVER WATERSHED

    Mexico State, Mexico

    BACALARQuintana Roo State, Mexico


    3. Soil-C program demo

    4. Soil-C program

    5. Soil-C user manual

    System requirements to use the CD-ROM:

    PC with Intel Pentium processor and Microsoft Windows 95 / 98 / 2000 / Me / NT / XP 64 MB of RAM 50 MB of available hard-disk space Internet browser such as Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Internet Explorer Adobe Acrobat Reader (included on CD-ROM)

  • fore


    rdThis study was carried out within the framework of the normative programme of the FAO Land

    and Plant Nutrition Management Service (AGLL) in its role as the Task Manager of the Land

    Chapter of Agenda 21, Integrated planning and management of land resources for sustainable

    agriculture and rural development (SARD). It is a partnership between FAO, the International

    Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the Global Mechanism (GM) of the United Nations

    Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the Land Resource Laboratory of Trent

    University, Canada. The objective is to investigate the winwin options to address poverty

    alleviation, food security and sustainable management of natural resources by enhancing land

    productivity through diversification of agricultural systems, soil fertility management and carbon

    sequestration in poor rural areas, thereby creating synergies among the Convention to Combat

    Desertification (UNCCD


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