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Estimating above ground net biomass change in tropical and subtropical forests: refinement of IPCC default values using forest plot data

Requena Suarez D., Rozendaal D.M.A., De Sy V., Phillips O.L., Álvarez-Dávila E., Anderson-Teixeira K., Araujo-Murakami A., Arroyo L., Baker T.R., Bongers T., Brienen R.J.W., Carter S., Cook-patton S., Feldpausch T.R., Griscom B., Harris N., Herault B., Honorio Coronado E.N., Leavitt S.M., Lewis S.L., Marimom B.S., Monteagudo Mendoza A., Kassi N'dja J., N'Guessan A.E., Poorter L., Qie L., Rutishauser E., Sist P., Sonké B., Sullivan M.J.P., Vilanova E., Wang M.M.H., Martius C., Herold M.. 2019. Pesquisa Florestal Brasileira, 39 : p. 217-218. IUFRO World Congress 2019 "Forest Research and Cooperation for Sustainable Development". 25, 2019-09-29/2019-10-05, Curitiba (Brésil).

As countries advance in greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting for climate change mitigation, consistent estimates of above ground biomass (AGB) net change are needed for the tropics and subtropics. Countries with limited forest monitoring capabilities rely on 2006 IPCC default AGB net change values, which are averages per ecological zone, per continent. These previous defaults come from single studies, provide no uncertainty indications, and aggregate old secondary forests and old-growth forests. In this study, we update these default values using forest plot data. In comparison with previous estimates, new values include data published from 2006 onwards, are derived from multiple sites per global ecological zone, provide measures of variation, and divide forests >20 years old into older secondary forests and old-growth forests. We compiled 176 AGB chronosequences in secondary forests and AGB net change rates from 536 permanent plots in old-growth and managed or logged forests. In this dataset, across all continents and ecozones, AGB net change rates in younger secondary forests (go years) are higher than rates in older secondary (>20 years and =100 years) forests and managed or logged forests, which in turn are higher than rates in old-growth forests (> 100 years). Data availability is highest for North and South America, followed by Asia then Africa. We provide a rigorous and traceable refinement of the IPCC 2006 AGB net change default rates, identify which areas in the tropics and subtropics require more research on AGB change, and reflect on possibilities for improvement as more data becomes available.

Mots-clés : forêt tropicale; biomasse; surveillance; changement climatique; gaz à effet de serre; environnement; forêt secondaire; forêt primaire; amérique du nord; amérique du sud; asie; afrique

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