Feldpausch T.R.,University of Leeds |
Banin L.,University of Leeds |
Phillips O.L.,University of Leeds |
Baker T.R.,University of Leeds |
And 59 more authors.
Biogeosciences | Year: 2011
Tropical tree height-diameter (H:D) relationships may vary by forest type and region making large-scale estimates of above-ground biomass subject to bias if they ignore these differences in stem allometry. We have therefore developed a new global tropical forest database consisting of 39 955 concurrent H and D measurements encompassing 283 sites in 22 tropical countries. Utilising this database, our objectives were:
1. to determine if H:D relationships differ by geographic region and forest type (wet to dry forests, including zones of tension where forest and savanna overlap).
2. to ascertain if the H:D relationship is modulated by climate and/or forest structural characteristics (e.g. stand-level basal area, A).
3. to develop H:D allometric equations and evaluate biases to reduce error in future local-to-global estimates of tropical forest biomass.
Annual precipitation coefficient of variation (PV), dry season length (SD), and mean annual air temperature (TA) emerged as key drivers of variation in H:D relationships at the pantropical and region scales. Vegetation structure also played a role with trees in forests of a high A being, on average, taller at any given D i>. After the effects of environment and forest structure are taken into account, two main regional groups can be identified. Forests in Asia, Africa and the Guyana Shield all have, on average, similar H:D relationships, but with trees in the forests of much of the Amazon Basin and tropical Australia typically being shorter at any given D than their counterparts elsewhere. The region-environment-structure model with the lowest Akaike's information criterion and lowest deviation estimated stand-level H across all plots to within amedian −2.7 to 0.9% of the true value. Some of the plot-to-plot variability in H:D relationships not accounted for by this model could be attributed to variations in soil physical conditions. Other things being equal, trees tend to be more slender in the absence of soil physical constraints, especially at smaller D. Pantropical and continental-level models provided less robust estimates of H, especially when the roles of climate and stand structure in modulating H:D allometry were not simultaneously taken into account. © 2011 Author(s).
Banin L.,University of Leeds |
Banin L.,University of Ulster |
Feldpausch T.R.,University of Leeds |
Phillips O.L.,University of Leeds |
And 31 more authors.
Global Ecology and Biogeography | Year: 2012
Aim: To test the extent to which the vertical structure of tropical forests is determined by environment, forest structure or biogeographical history. Location: Pan-tropical. Methods: Using height and diameter data from 20,497 trees in 112 non-contiguous plots, asymptotic maximum height (H AM) and height-diameter relationships were computed with nonlinear mixed effects (NLME) models to: (1) test for environmental and structural causes of differences among plots, and (2) test if there were continental differences once environment and structure were accounted for; persistence of differences may imply the importance of biogeography for vertical forest structure. NLME analyses for floristic subsets of data (only/excluding Fabaceae and only/excluding Dipterocarpaceae individuals) were used to examine whether family-level patterns revealed biogeographical explanations of cross-continental differences. Results: H AM and allometry were significantly different amongst continents. H AM was greatest in Asian forests (58.3 ± 7.5m, 95% CI), followed by forests in Africa (45.1 ± 2.6m), America (35.8 ± 6.0m) and Australia (35.0 ± 7.4m), and height-diameter relationships varied similarly; for a given diameter, stems were tallest in Asia, followed by Africa, America and Australia. Precipitation seasonality, basal area, stem density, solar radiation and wood density each explained some variation in allometry and H AM yet continental differences persisted even after these were accounted for. Analyses using floristic subsets showed that significant continental differences in H AM and allometry persisted in all cases. Main conclusions: Tree allometry and maximum height are altered by environmental conditions, forest structure and wood density. Yet, even after accounting for these, tropical forest architecture varies significantly from continent to continent. The greater stature of tropical forests in Asia is not directly determined by the dominance of the family Dipterocarpaceae, as on average non-dipterocarps are equally tall. We hypothesise that dominant large-statured families create conditions in which only tall species can compete, thus perpetuating a forest dominated by tall individuals from diverse families. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
News Article | November 7, 2016
How much carbon is actually sequestered by diverse forest landscapes and how useful are carbon credits? This and related questions are addressed by a joint project that combines commercial large-scale greenhouse gas (GHG) sensor systems and diverse forest ecosystems located in Ghana. The Forestry Commission of Ghana (FCG), Accra, Ghana, Africa, and Planetary Emissions Management Inc. (PEM), Cambridge, MA, USA, have initiated a joint project now in the planning stage. Scientifically proven forest carbon sensors scaled-up for commercial applications would be deployed as a modular, intelligent, autonomous system of systems for the proposed project. The PEM approach turns traditional carbon credits upside down; there is no cost or fee to landowners, instead, landowners may receive upfront and annual payments for sequestered forest carbon implemented with a detailed project management plan subject to annual review. The project results include new and directly verified carbon products for sale to individuals, corporations and institutions worldwide. A Regulation A+ Tier II* $50M USD funding plan is under consideration to support the project. Mr. Samuel Afari Dartey, the CEO of the Forestry Commission of Ghana, remarked, “The Forestry Commission is looking forward to this new partnership with Planetary Emissions Management Inc. to undertake this novel trading in diverse carbon products from Ghana’s forests." CEO Dartey went on to say, "We believe that this project has the potential to offer sustainable financial rewards and environmental benefits to Ghanaian stakeholders (landowners, government, forest communities and the private sector) as they conserve and manage different forest landscapes, the contribution of this project towards global climate change amelioration can be very positive and hence, worth pursuing." Bruno D.V. Marino, PhD, CEO and Founder of PEM Inc. added, "This is an extraordinary opportunity to work at the planetary scale with our colleagues at the Forestry Commission of Ghana and share innovative GHG sensor technologies for forest conservation, working forests, biodiversity and cultural heritage projects with revenue to stakeholders." The PEM approach is a game-changer for traditional carbon credits featuring no fee services, upfront and annual payment options, and 24/7 monitoring, verification and accounting of GHG's (e.g., CO2, CH4, N2O) for diverse forest landscapes across Ghana. "PEM supports objectives of the Paris Agreement including large-scale direct GHG measurement technologies, innovative climate change finance and GHG trading options for signatory countries across the planet," remarked CEO Marino. A contemplated Regulation A+ Tier II* approach to support the project would allow the public to invest in a company whose mission is to create forest sequestration products based on direct high frequency measurement of GHG's. Such products, which demonstrate net emission reduction and can be linked to observable changes in the biosphere, will be offered for sale over a range of prices to individuals, corporations and institutions worldwide.The PEM approach may also address the importance and uniqueness of Indigenous Peoples and their land rights in protecting forests and their role in the management of GHG emissions and climate change by providing direct access to climate change finance to indigenous groups similar to the approach to be undertaken for forests in Ghana. The PEM approach includes creation of a website specifically for registration of directly measured forest GHG products that will host PEM FCG projects at no cost to project owners. The registration website will also host peer reviewed results of directly measured forest GHG emissions and ecological, biodiversity and cultural heritage research projects of relevance to the PEM FCP projects. About PEM Inc. Planetary Emissions Management Inc. (http://www.pemforest.com) is an early stage greenhouse gas services and technology company addressing management of atmospheric composition and greenhouse gas markets worldwide. About FCG. The Forestry Commission of Ghana (http://www.fcghana.org) is responsible for the regulation of utilization of forest and wildlife resources, the conservation and management of those resources and the coordination of policies related to them. We aim to be a corporate body of excellence in the sustainable development, management and utilization of Ghana's forest and wildlife resources meeting both national and global standards for forest and wildlife resource conservation and development. *Planetary Emissions Management Inc. is contemplating an offering of securities under Tier 2 of Regulation A. No money or other consideration is being solicited, and if sent in response, will not be accepted. No offering to buy the securities can be accepted and no part of the purchase price can be received until the offering statement, filed by the company with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), has been qualified by the SEC. Any such offer may be withdrawn or revoked without obligation or commitment of any kind, at any time before notice of its acceptance given after the date of qualification. An indication of interest involves no obligation or commitment of any kind.
Beeko C.,Forestry Commission of Ghana |
Arts B.,Wageningen University
International Forestry Review | Year: 2010
The European Union's FLEGT initiative aims at eliminating illegal timber from its market. An important instrument to achieve this is the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) to install, amongst others, wood tracking systems in timber exporting countries. Ghana was the first to conclude VPA negotiations with the EU. Using the Policy Arrangement Approach (PAA), this paper presents a critical policy analysis of the consensus building and negotiation process and outcome (so far). It shows that the national forest discourse of Ghana has been reshaped by the VPA process, that the traditional forest sector has been opened up, that new forest rules have been designed and that power relations have changed in favour of so-called fringe actors. Theses developments seem in line with the wider shift from government to governance in politics. Yet the question is whether these observable changes will be sustained in the implementation phase of the VPA.
Burton A.C.,University of California at Berkeley |
Sam M.K.,Forestry Commission of Ghana |
Kpelle D.G.,Forestry Commission of Ghana |
Balangtaa C.,Forestry Commission of Ghana |
And 2 more authors.
Biological Conservation | Year: 2011
Carnivore extinctions frequently have cascading impacts through an ecosystem, so effective management of ecological communities requires an understanding of carnivore vulnerability. This has been hindered by the elusive nature of many carnivores, as well as a disproportionate focus on large-bodied species and particular geographic regions. We use multiple survey methods and a hierarchical multi-species occupancy model accounting for imperfect detection to assess extinction risk across the entire carnivore community in Ghana's Mole National Park, a poorly studied West African savanna ecosystem. Only 9 of 16 historically occurring carnivore species were detected in a camera-trap survey covering 253 stations deployed for 5469 trap days between October 2006 and January 2009, and our occupancy model indicated low overall likelihoods of false absence despite low per-survey probabilities of detection. Concurrent sign, call-in, and village surveys, as well as long-term law enforcement patrol records, provided more equivocal evidence of carnivore occurrence but supported the conclusion that many carnivores have declined and are likely functionally or fully extirpated from the park, including the top predator, lion (Panthera leo). Contrary to expectation, variation in carnivore persistence was not explained by ecological or life-history traits such as body size, home range size or fecundity, thus raising questions about the predictability of carnivore community disassembly. Our results imply an urgent need for new initiatives to better protect and restore West Africa's embattled carnivore populations, and they highlight a broader need for more empirical study of the response of entire carnivore communities to anthropogenic impact. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.