Carbon stock assessment in the Kakum and Amanzule estuary mangrove forests, Ghana
Sustainable management of forests through enhancement of forest carbon stocks is a global effort aimed at creating incentives for developing countries to reduce emissions. Ghana’s participation in carbon reduction initiatives such as REDD+ has brought about huge demand for data on carbon stocks. This pre-empted the need for carbon stock assessment in the Kakum and Amanzule mangrove forests. Above- and below-ground carbon pools in the two forests were assessed in order to evaluate the impact of environmental degradation on the ecosystems. Data on tree height and diameter, and soil were collected to estimate for carbon density. General allometric equations were used to estimate mangrove biomass and corresponding carbon density. One-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) with Tukey’s post hoc test were conducted to test the effect of soil depth on soil carbon density, bulk density, salinity and pH at 95 % confidence level. Total carbon density in the Kakum forest was estimated as 465.9 MgC/ha and that in Amanzule at 5316.5 MgC/ha. The difference in carbon density could be attributed to the differences in tree stature in the two ecosystems. Whereas the Kakum forest comprised mainly of dwarf mangrove trees, the Amanzule forest has a mosaic of primary and secondary
forest patches. The below-ground carbon density was higher than above-ground carbon density within the Kakum mangrove forest. The reverse was observed in the Amanzule forest. It is therefore recommended that forest carbon stock change evaluation be vigorously undertaken by establishing permanent plots since logging has a serious effect on the overall carbon stock density and ecosystem health of mangrove forests.