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Carbon stock estimates based on land cover type are critical for informing climate change assessment and landscape management, but field and theoretical evidence indicates that forest fragmentation reduces the amount of carbon stored at forest edges. Here, using remotely sensed pantropical biomass and land cover data sets, the authors estimate that biomass within the first 500 m of the forest edge is on average 25% lower than in forest interiors and that reductions of 10% extend to 1.5 km from the forest edge. These findings suggest that IPCC Tier 1 methods overestimate carbon stocks in tropical forests by nearly 10%. Proper accounting for degradation at forest edges will inform better landscape and forest management and policies, as well as the assessment of carbon stocks at landscape and national levels.

Data Resources (1)

Data Resource Preview - Degradation in carbon stocks near tropical forest edges

Additional Info

Field Value
Document type Reports, journal articles, and research papers (including theses and dissertations)
Language of document
  • English
  • Climate change
  • Forest cover
  • Forest policy and administration
  • Forests and forestry
  • Mitigation
Geographic area (spatial range)
  • Cambodia
  • Viet Nam
  • Lao People's Democratic Republic
  • Thailand
  • Myanmar
  • China
Copyright Yes
Access and use constraints

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Version / Edition 1.0
License CC-BY-4.0

Author (individual) Chaplin-Kramer, Rebecca
Co-author (individual) Ramler, Ivan; Sharp, Richard; Haddad, Nick M.; Gerber, James S.; West, Paul C.; Mandle, Lisa; Engstrom, Peder; Baccini, Alessandro; Sim, Sarah; Mueller, Carina; King, Henry
Publisher Nature Communications
Publication date 2015
Pagination 6 p.
Date uploaded December 23, 2015, 05:24 (UTC)
Date modified December 23, 2015, 05:30 (UTC)