Wspólnotowy Serwis Informacyjny Badan i Rozwoju - CORDIS

Landscape scenarios of carbon sequestration

The aim of this result is to evaluate the annual carbon balances for landscape sections in order to estimate the effects of likely future land-use scenarios on landscape carbon sequestration. A GIS database has been elaborated for the selected target landscapes, defining vegetation and soil parameters for each pixel.

To obtain and/ or complement already existing spatial data sets a novel remote sensing technique has been tested and applied (see result airborne remote sensing system). As for the modelling approach, the one-dimensional SVAT model developed (see result SVAT modelling software) will be integrated into a spatial framework that allows the landscape carbon balance to be derived from integration of the CO2 exchange of each pixel (see result landscape modelling software).

Scenarios of likely policy effects on land use have been defined by focus groups, comprising environmental scientists and local and regional stakeholders, which have been set up in each study site. The focus groups defined scenarios of likely policy effects on land use and thus helped to provide a link between detailed process studies and the modelling of impacts of policies at landscape scale.

Three contrasting policy scenarios, based on stakeholder consultations, as well as a farm-level agro-economic model, have been taken into account to derive scenarios of likely future land use.

From these scenarios the following conclusions can be derived:
- Since mountain farming in Europe is generally at its economic limits, all scenarios predict a pronounced decline of agricultural activities, accompanied by an increase in forest cover.

- Simulations of landscape-scale CO2 exchange and carbon pools under these likely future land-use scenarios suggest a decrease in mountain grassland carbon sequestration due to reduced management, which at the landscape-scale, however, is compensated by an increase in forest carbon stocks.

- Land-use history is a crucial parameter for obtaining realistic estimates of carbon sequestration under changing climatic conditions and land-use practices.

More information on the CARBOMONT project can be found at:

Reported by

University of Innsbruck, Institute of Botany
Sternwartestr. 15
6020 Innsbruck
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