Assessment of forest cover and carbon stock changes in sub-tropical pine forest of Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK), Pakistan using multitemporal Landsat satellite data and field inventory

Iftikhar Ahmad Khan, Mobushir Riaz Khan, Muhammad Hasan Ali Baig, Zaker Hussain, Nasir Hameed, Junaid Aziz Khan

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Abstract

This study aimed at estimating temporal (1989–2018) change in forest cover, carbon stock and trend in corresponding CO2 emissions/sequestration of a sub-tropical pine forest (STPF) in AJK, Pakistan. Our field inventory estimation shows an average above ground biomass (AAGB) accumulation of 0.145 Kt/ha with average carbon stock (ACS) value of 0.072 Kt/ha. Landsat TM, ETM+ and OLI images of 1989, 1993, 1999, 2005, 2010, 2015 and 2018 were used to extract vegetation fractions through Linear Spectral Mixture Analysis (LSMA) and forest area was calculated for respective years. Based on the forest area and estimated ACS value, the biomass carbon stock with corresponding CO2 emissions/sequestration was worked out for each time and change in forest carbon stock was determined for different time periods from 1989 to 2018. Our analysis shows net increase of 561 ha in forest cover and 40.39 Kt of ACS along with increase in corresponding CO2 sequestrations of 147.83 Kt over the study period. The results based on combination of remote sensing and field inventory provide valuable information and scientific basis to plan and ensure sustainable forest management (SFM) through reforestation, protection and conservation to enhance and maintain adequate forest cover and reduce CO2 emissions.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0226341
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalPLoS One
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2020

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