Carbon Sequestration Potential of Kpashimi Forest Reserve, Niger State, Nigeria
Abdullahi Jibrin, Suleiman Mohammed Zubairu, Sakoma J. Kaura

The neglect of renewable natural resource sector such as forest resources is one of the major factors fuelling the continuous economic stagnation in Nigeria. This study provides an analysis of carbon storage and the potential to increase carbon stocks in the Kpashimi Forest Reserve, Niger state, Nigeria. Carbon density values for vegetation communities were estimated based on data collected in forty-eight randomly selected 400 square metre plots covering the Kpashimi Forest Reserve. Tree biomass was estimated from diameter at breast height (dbh) measurements and allometric equations, while deadwood, litter and herbaceous vegetation biomass were quantified using destructive sampling. Soils were sampled using core rings and organic carbon were analysed using dry combustion technique. Four satellite imageries TM, SPOT, ETM+, and NIGERIASAT-1 of 1987, 1994, 2001 and 2007 respectively were used to estimate vegetation cover dynamics and the influence of vegetation cover change over 20 years period on forest carbon stocks. The average carbon stock density (Mg C/ha) of the vegetation communities was in the decreasing order; Riparian forest (123.58 ± 9.1), Savanna woodland (97.71 ± 8.2), Degraded forest (62.92 ± 6.1), Scrubland (36.28 ± 4.1), Grassland (18.22 ± 5.1), and bare surface (9.31 ± 3.1). Deforestation and forest degradation between 1987 and 2007 with limited reforestation have resulted in a net loss of about 240 mega tons of carbon (881.5 Mg tons of CO2emission). This loss occurred at the rate of 12.01 mega tons of carbon (44 Mg tons of CO2emission) per annum. The distribution of carbon densities within the forest reserve and variation between vegetation coverclasses suggests that restoration management practices could increase Kpashimi Forest Reserve carbon stock back to speculated 1987 levels and even higher.

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