QUANTIFICATION OF CARBON STOCKS WITH THE COMMON TREE GENUS IN DRYLAND FOREST IN TAITA RANCH, SOUTH EASTERN KENYA
Keywords:Biomass, carbon sequestration, carbon stocks, diameter at breast height, regression model, Taita Ranch.
Mapping carbon stock in Kenya is central in establishing the country’s potential for carbon emission and emission reduction through forestry. The study aimed to establish the carbon capture and storage by the common tree genus and their respective species in dry land ecosystem and estimate the amount of CO2 capture and storage potential of this species in Taita Ranch, South Eastern Kenya. A total of 2060 trees belonging to twenty five tree species from 14 genus were inventoried. Regression model by Wildlife Works predicted total tree biomass to be 262 mg (26.2 Mg/ha). Biomass estimates varied significantly with genus Commiphora recording the highest biomass of approximately 193 Mg followed by Vachellia and Acacia with 30 mg. Boswellia, Lannea, and Boscia recorded 22 mg, 18 mg and 11 mg respectively. In terms of dominance genus Commiphora dominated at 46% followed by Lannea with 19% and Boswellia at 13% and Vachelia and Boscia recorded 9% each while the other pooled genus contributed 2%. The age of forest in the study area ranged between 30 and 40 years and based on the average biomass estimates then genus Commiphora is able to capture about 5.5 kg of CO2 per year, Acacia and Vachellia is able to capture 5.4 kg while Boswellia, Lannea and Boscia are able capture 2.6 kg, 2.1 kg and 1.8 kg respectively and other genus pooled together capture 3.2kg on average. Given the above biomass estimates, genus Commiphora and Acacia and Vachellia lead in terms of carbon capture, storage and release of carbon if harvested for charcoal production.