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The carbon sequestration potential of Commidendrum robustum Roxb. (DC.) within the Millennium Forest restoration site, St Helena Island

Ellick, Shayla (2015) The carbon sequestration potential of Commidendrum robustum Roxb. (DC.) within the Millennium Forest restoration site, St Helena Island. MSc by research thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

The drastic increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) (particularly carbon dioxide CO2) into the atmosphere is causing climate change around the world. Tropical forests are considered to be significant sinks of carbon, but are subject to widespread degradation and deforestation. Restoring and conserving tropical forests as a form of climate change mitigation, through the creation of off-setting schemes, can increase rates of carbon sequestration. Islands are particularly vulnerable to climate change, though they contribute relatively little to the world’s GHG emissions. St Helena Island, a UK Territory with a high rate of endemism in the South Atlantic Ocean, produces an estimated 11,000 tonnes of CO2 annually. St Helena’s native forests were decimated following the island’s discovery in 1502 and only fragments remain. A restoration project, ‘the Millennium Forest’, restoring endemic Commidendrum robustum Roxb. (DC.) woodland to the degraded Crown Wastes area is managed by the St Helena National Trust (SHNT). SHNT hope to use the site as the basis for a carbon off-setting scheme to mitigate CO2 emissions from the island’s new airport (expected to open in early 2016). This study found that C. robustum biomass and its associated carbon pools increased carbon stocks within the Crown Wastes area by approximately 52.5 ± 12.20 tonnes over 15 years. pH was found to be highly correlated with the carbon estimates. Estimated carbon stocks within five terrestrial carbon pools within the Millennium Forest restoration site were: aboveground live carbon 52.15 ± 12.25 tonnes; litter carbon 4.9 ± 2.45 kg carbon; deadwood carbon 397.95 ± 42 kg; belowground carbon 37.8 ± 2.1 kg; and soil organic carbon 297.5 ± 23.1 tonnes. These results and the level of monitoring, reporting and verifying required by international carbon off-setting schemes make a locally established- and run- scheme more financially viable for the island.

Item Type: Thesis (MSc by research)
Keywords: carbon sequestration; St Helena; Commidendrum robustum; Millennium Forest
Academic Units: The University of York > Environment (York)
Depositing User: Miss Shayla Ellick
Date Deposited: 07 Aug 2015 11:15
Last Modified: 07 Aug 2015 11:15
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/9337

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