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Monitoring Vegetation with GIS and Remote Sensing Techniques and Carbon Stock Assessment of Mangroves of South Gujarat, Gujarat

Author(s): Dhara O Bhavsar

The carbon dioxide which is emitted from anthropogenic activities stay into the atmosphere and takes centuries to remove. Carbon present in many ecosystems like ocean, biosphere, terrestrial and atmosphere (IPCC 2001a, Grace, 2004). The Ocean is the biggest carbon sink while 20-40% will be remaining in the atmosphere for the longer period. Mangrove ecosystem can sequester three times more carbon than any other ecosystem. To keep atmospheric carbon dioxide level below 450 ppm carbon dioxide reduction is required at 7% which can be achieving by restoring mangrove forest (Nellemann et al., 2009). Around 22.5 million tons of carbon is sequester by mangrove per year (Dittmar et al., 2006) Recent Studies have emphasized the valuable role played of mangrove forest on carbon storage. Gujarat possess second largest mangrove cover in India and shows increasing trend since 1987. Many conservation measures are taken by the state by plantation activities, involvement of local community for conservation and various awareness programs that are why mangrove area is increased in the state. Total 15 mangrove species are reported from Gujarat out of them Avicennia marina is dominant species. Two carbon pools were measured to calculate mangrove forest: Biomass carbon (Above ground and roots) and sediment carbon.In present study carbon sequestration carried out by non-destructive methodology. To calculate above ground and root biomass allometric equations are used which were development by Komiyama et al. (2006). The vegetation cover was mapped by GIS and Remote Sensing technique using LISS III and IV images.Present study data reveal that highest AGB is reported in Navsari (14.2mg/ha) followed by Surat (9.707 mg/ha), Bharuch (3.39 mg/ ha), and Valsad (0.606 mg/ha).Results on the productivity of mangrove forests showed an overall carbon increment of 32.0915 mg/ha (aboveground and below ground carbon), 278.759 mg/ha (Soil Organic Carbon) and 301.85 mg/ha (total carbon). The result showed that the maximum carbon has been reported in Surat District (148.8645 Mg/ha) while least is in Valsad District (12.247 Mg/ha). The Carbon Stock assessment study revealed that the soil has sequestered more carbon (278.75 Mg/ha) than biomass (32.09 Mg/ha).The results further demonstrated the importance of the oceanic mangrove in carbon storage and the mangrove plants in contributing OC to their biomass and soils.

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