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Volume 2 (2002), Pages 53-75
Review Article

Carbon Reservoirs in Temperate South American Nothofagus Forests

1Factor Consulting and Management AG, Binzstrasse 18, 8045 Zürich, Switzerland
2Centro Investigacion y Extension Forestal Andino Patagonico (CIEFAP), Ruta 259, km4, CC 14, 9200 Esquel, Chubut, Argentina

Copyright © 2002 Klaus Baswald et al.


Humans are influencing the global carbon (C) cycle due to the combustion of fossil fuels and due to changes in land use management. These activities are fostering the manmade greenhouse effect and thus global climate change. Negative effects for life on earth are accounted for.

Among others the international climate debate focused attention on forests and forestry, knowing about their considerable influence on global climate change. Whilst the global C budget is described fairly well, there is a lack of regional data describing the C reservoirs and flows in detail. This has to be constituted especially for forests in developing countries.

This paper presents an investigation at regional scale of the C reservoirs in a South American forest ecosystem. The investigation puts emphasis on the area and stand volume estimation and the development of expansion and reduction factors. Vegetation types are classified and stratified, determining the corresponding areas and estimating the stand volume. Converting factors are developed to calculate C in branches and roots as a percentage of standing wood measured by inventories.