Ellen Arnstein, MEM

2012 TRI Fellow in Bolivia

Quantification of stored carbon in the dry forest of Yumao, Bolivia

Deforestation in the lowlands of Bolivia is continuous and increasing due primarily to the expanding agricultural frontier; 80% of Bolivia’s emissions of greenhouse gases come from deforestation.  Given this problem, local organizations like Fundación Natura Bolivia have encouraged conservation through carbon markets. It is therefore necessary to have highly accurate measurements of biomass with an application consistent with the Bolivian context. Our objective in studying the forest in Yumao was to generate basic quantifiable information about forest biomass and evaluate forest structure and floristic patterns. Using allometric equations and regression models based on silvicultural characteristics measured in Yumao, biomass data and carbon sequestration of trees, bushes, leaf litter, soil, and necromass was calculated while determining the most transparent, robust, and accurate methodology using technology available in Bolivia.