A segregated assessment of total carbon stocks by the mode of origin and ecological functions of forests: implication on restoration potential

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In depth understanding of variation of biomass and carbon pools in different forest ecosystems is crucial for monitoring, reporting and verification of forest carbon stocks in the context of forest landscape restoration (FLR). The study compares carbon stocks from five carbon pools by the mode of origin (natural vs planted forests) and ecological functions (Special use, Protection and Production forests) of the forests. An intensive forest carbon inventory was conducted in six communes of Dinh Hoa district, Vietnam. Soil organic carbon (SOC) was found to be the largest carbon pool. Mean SOC densities were not significantly different between natural forests and planted forests, but were significantly different among different forest types classified based on ecological functions. When considering the total of all carbon pools, mean carbon densities were neither significantly different between natural and planted forests, nor among Special use, Protection and Production forests. Our study provides evidence that different FLR interventions may provide equivalent potentials for increasing forest carbon stocks. We link FLR with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) initiative Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in developing countries (REDD+) to highlight synergies between processes of regaining ecological functionality, enhancement of human well-being across deforested or degraded forest landscapes, and contribution to the enhancement of forest carbon stocks.

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