Aboveground Biomass Distribution in a Multi-Use Savannah Landscape in Southeastern Kenya: Impact of Land Use and Fences

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/320250

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Amara, E.; Adhikari, H.; Heiskanen, J.; Siljander, M.; Munyao, M.; Omondi, P.; Pellikka, P. Aboveground Biomass Distribution in a Multi-Use Savannah Landscape in Southeastern Kenya: Impact of Land Use and Fences. Land 2020, 9, 381.

Title: Aboveground Biomass Distribution in a Multi-Use Savannah Landscape in Southeastern Kenya: Impact of Land Use and Fences
Author: Amara, Edward; Adhikari, Hari; Heiskanen, Janne; Siljander, Mika; Munyao, Martha; Omondi, Patrick; Pellikka, Petri
Publisher: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Date: 2020-10-09
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/320250
Abstract: Savannahs provide valuable ecosystem services and contribute to continental and global carbon budgets. In addition, savannahs exhibit multiple land uses, e.g., wildlife conservation, pastoralism, and crop farming. Despite their importance, the effect of land use on woody aboveground biomass (AGB) in savannahs is understudied. Furthermore, fences used to reduce human&ndash;wildlife conflicts may affect AGB patterns. We assessed AGB densities and patterns, and the effect of land use and fences on AGB in a multi-use savannah landscape in southeastern Kenya. AGB was assessed with field survey and airborne laser scanning (ALS) data, and a land cover map was developed using Sentinel-2 satellite images in Google Earth Engine. The highest woody AGB was found in riverine forest in a conservation area and in bushland outside the conservation area. The highest mean AGB density occurred in the non-conservation area with mixed bushland and cropland (8.9 Mg&middot;ha<sup>&minus;1</sup>), while the lowest AGB density (2.6 Mg&middot;ha<sup>&minus;1</sup>) occurred in overgrazed grassland in the conservation area. The largest differences in AGB distributions were observed in the fenced boundaries between the conservation and other land-use types. Our results provide evidence that conservation and fences can create sharp AGB transitions and lead to reduced AGB stocks, which is a vital role of savannahs as part of carbon sequestration.


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