Quantification of carbon stock to understand two different forest management regimes in Kayar Khola watershed, Chitwan, Nepal

Purity Rima Mbaabu


The impact of forest management activities on the ability of forest ecosystems to sequester and store atmospheric carbon is of increasing scientific and social concern. This is because a quantitative understanding of how forest management enhances carbon storage is lacking in most forest management regimes. In this paper two forest regimes, government and community-managed, in Kayar Khola watershed, Chitwan, Nepal were evaluated based on field data, very high resolution (VHR) GeoEye-1 satellite image and airborne LiDAR data. Individual tree crowns were generated using multi-resolution segmentation, which was followed by two tree species classification (Shorea robusta and Other species). Species allometric equations were used in both forest regimes for above ground biomass (AGB) estimation, mapping and comparison. The image objects generated were classified per species and resulted in 70 and 82 % accuracy for community and government forests, respectively. Development of the relationship between crown projection area (CPA), height, and AGB resulted in accuracies of R2 range from 0.62 to 0.81, and RMSE range from 10 to 25 % for Shorea robusta and other species respectively. The average carbon stock was found to be 244 and 140 tC/ha for community and government forests respectively. The synergistic use of optical and LiDAR data has been successful in this study in understanding the forest management systems.

Keywords Forest management . Airborne LiDAR . GeoEye-1 image . Allometric equation and Carbon stock

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