APPLICATION OF VEGETATION INDEXES TO ASSESS CARBON STOCK
Application of vegetation indexes to assess carbon stock: A study from hilly community forests, Nepal
This was objectively conducted to estimate the carbon stock, to show the relation between carbon stock and indices and to assess the factors affecting carbon stock in community forests. Three community forests (CFs) namely Gumalchowki, Mahakalsthan and Mahalaxmi of Chandragiri Municipality in Nepal were selected as research sites. Altogether 135 plots were randomly established to collect data from the field. The diameter at breast height and height of the trees were measured in the sample plot. The biomass was calculated using Chave et al., equation which was converted into carbon stock multiplying by default value 0.47. The values of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Difference Vegetation Index (DVI) and Infrared Percentage Vegetation Index (IPVI) were calculated and regression equation between the indices and carbon stock was performed. The result showed that total above ground carbon stock was highest in Mahalaxmi CF with 30.42 ton/ha, followed by Mahakalsthan CF with 22.62 ton/ha and comparatively lowest with 21.55 ton/ha in Gumalchowki CF. The regression analysis between carbon stock and indices showed significantly and positive correlation. The R2 value of NDVI of Gumalchowki, Mahakalsthan and Mahalaxmi CF were found to be 0.51, 0.54 and 0.58, also, RMSE value of CFs were 1.41, 1.36 and 1.91 respectively. Principal component analysis showed that road construction, transmission line expansion, soil erosion, encroachment, disease, weeds, recreation, illegal logging are the major factors affecting carbon stock in all three community forests. This study will be useful to show the correlation between indices and carbon stock.
Keywords: Carbon, Nepal, community forests.
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