Carbon losses from deforestation and widespread degradation offset by extensive growth in African woodlands

Dataset

Description

Data associated with the publication: McNicol, IM, Ryan, CMR & Mitchard ETA (2018) Carbon losses from deforestation and widespread degradation offset by extensive growth in African woodlands. Nature Communications, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-05386-z. Each layer has been aggregated from its original 25 m resolution to 100 m. The original files are available from the authors on request. The metadata for each layer is included as a separate file.

Abstract

Land use carbon fluxes are major uncertainties in the global carbon cycle. This is because carbon stocks, the extent of deforestation and degradation, and biomass growth remain poorly resolved, particularly in the densely populated savannas which dominate the tropics. Here we quantify changes in aboveground woody carbon stocks from 2007–2010 in the world’s largest savanna—the southern African woodlands. Degradation is widespread, affecting 17.0% of the wooded area, and is the source of 55% of biomass loss (−0.075 PgC yr−1). Deforestation losses are lower (−0.038 PgC yr−1), despite deforestation rates being 5× greater than existing estimates. Gross carbon losses are therefore 3–6x higher than previously thought. Biomass gains occurred in 48% of the region and totalled +0.12 PgC yr−1. Region-wide stocks are therefore stable at ~5.5 PgC. We show that land cover in African woodlands is highly dynamic with globally high rates of degradation and deforestation, but also extensive regrowth.

Data Citation

McNicol, Iain; Ryan, Casey. (2018). Carbon losses from deforestation and widespread degradation offset by extensive growth in African woodlands, 2007-2010 [dataset]. University of Edinburgh. School of Geosciences. http://dx.doi.org/10.7488/ds/2408
Date made available30 Sep 2018
PublisherEdinburgh DataShare
Temporal coverage2007 - 2010
Geographical coverageAngola, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Zimbabwe

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