Estimation of aboveground and belowground carbon stocks in urban freshwater wetlands of Sri Lanka

Posted on 03.09.2020 - 03:51
Abstract Background The occurrence of climate change at an unprecedented scale has resulted in alterations of ecosystems around the world. Numerous studies have reported on the potential to slow down climate change through the sequestration of carbon in soil and trees. Freshwater wetlands hold significant potential for climate change mitigation owing to their large capacity to sequester atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). Wetlands among all terrestrial ecosystems have the highest carbon density and are found to store up to three to five times more carbon than terrestrial forests. The current study was undertaken to quantify carbon stocks of two carbon pools: aboveground biomass (AGB) and belowground biomass (BGB). Chosen study sites; Kolonnawa wetland and Thalawathugoda wetland park are distributed within the Colombo wetland complex. Colombo was recognized as one of the 18 global Ramsar wetland cities in 2018. A combination of field measurements and allometric tree biomass regression models was used in the study. Stratification of the project area was performed using the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). Results The AGB carbon stock, across strata, is estimated to be in the range of 13.79 ± 3.65–66.49 ± 6.70 tC/ha and 8.13 ± 2.42–52.63 ± 10.00 tC/ha at Kolonnawa wetland and Thalawathugoda wetland park, respectively. The BGB carbon stock is estimated to be in the range of 2.47 ± 0.61–10.12 ± 0.89 tC/ha and 1.56 ± 0.41–8.17 ± 1.39 tC/ha at Kolonnawa wetland and Thalawathugoda wetland park, respectively. The total AGB carbon stock of Kolonnawa wetland was estimated at 19,803 ± 1566 tCO2eq and that of Thalawathugoda wetland park was estimated at 4180 ± 729 tCO2eq. Conclusions In conclusion, the study reveals that tropical freshwater wetlands contain considerable potential as carbon reservoirs. The study suggests the use of tropical freshwater wetlands in carbon sequestration enhancement plans in the tropics. The study also shows that Annona glabra, an invasive alien species (IAS), has the potential to enhance the net sink of AGB carbon in these non-mangrove wetlands. However, further studies are essential to confirm if enhanced carbon sequestration by Annona glabra is among the unexplored and unreported benefits of the species.

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Dayathilake, Deekirikewage Dona Thamali Lushanya; Lokupitiya, Erandathie; Wijeratne, Vithana Pathirannehelage Indika Sandamali (2020): Estimation of aboveground and belowground carbon stocks in urban freshwater wetlands of Sri Lanka. figshare. Collection. https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.5111046.v1
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AUTHORS (3)

Deekirikewage Dona Thamali Lushanya Dayathilake
Erandathie Lokupitiya
Vithana Pathirannehelage Indika Sandamali Wijeratne

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