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Gonçalves, F.M.P. Woody volume, above-ground biomass and carbon stocks in the Chitembo Miombo Woodlands, Bié Province, Angola


Description:

Woody volume, above-ground biomass and carbon stocks in the Chitembo Miombo Woodlands, Bié Province, Angola.

Summary / Notes:

The Miombo woodland is a dry forest that is characterized by the dominance of trees in the genera Brachystegia and Julbernardia. This woodland type covers an estimated area of approximately 2.7 million km2 in southern, central and eastern Africa (White 1983; Frost 1996; Malmer, 2007; Ryan et al. 2010; Chidumayo, 2013). In Angola the typical miombo woodlands covers about 47 % of the total country surface (Huntley & Matos, 1994). The communities represent the most extensive vegetation unit in Angola and ranges in altitudes from 800 to 2000 m, with an annual rainfall of about 1300 mm/year. The soil is usually reddish clay, but often sandy (Shaw, 1947). The miombo woodland plays an important role on the livelihood of rural areas, providing several products and services ranging from timber provision, honey, medicines, firewood, charcoal and construction materials to a large scale carbon and water managements services (Campbel, 1996; Chidumayo, 1997; Ryan et al. 2010).  However, the miombo woodlands are understood to owe their structure partially due to human intervention through fire use and shifting cultivation. Fire has played a central part of the miombo woodlands dynamics from at least 50.000 years ago. Intentional burning is practiced to prepare land for cultivation, clearing areas around settlements, to manage grazing, for charcoal production, honey collection and hunting (Chidumayo, 1997), with a direct impact on the woodland vegetation affecting the volume, above-ground biomass and carbon stocks. Other important human pressures on biomass is linked to the resources extraction, clearance for agriculture based on shifting cultivation, where woodland sites are cut over and the vegetation debris is burned. The site is later abandoned after 3-4 years of farming, because largely the decline in soil fertility under cultivation (Lumbwe, 2010; Houghton and Hackler, 2006 cited by Ryan et al. 2010).

Type: Report

Download: Woody Volume_Biomass_Carbon Francisco Maiato.docx (198 kb)


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