A global analysis of woody above ground carbon in crop and pasture lands


While crop and pasture lands account for approximately 39% of global land cover, available estimates of the climate mitigation potential of agroforestry systems are based on coarse estimates of both cropland extent and aboveground carbon density. This paper seeks to improve upon previous estimates of carbon storage within trees in crop lands by utilizing global 30-meter resolution cropland extent and biomass density data. The results indicate that ca. 1.98 billion ha of cropland account for 9.42 Pg of global aboveground carbon storage. Additionally, we extend the analysis beyond croplands to include the climate mitigation potential of trees in pasture and grazing lands, which account for an another 4.35 Pg C across ca. 2.02 billion ha. The as yet unrealized climate mitigation potential of crop and pasture land is calculated under five scenarios of agroforestry expansion utilizing current biomass distribution in geographically specific agroforestry systems. This research provides an important first step in understanding system-specific signatures of carbon density in agroforestry systems, leading to the comprehensive assessment of landscape scale climate mitigation potential. Additional information on the impact of agroforestry practices on crop yield will be essential to defining the most realistic scenarios

Dec 11, 2018 1:00 PM
AGU Fall Meeting 2018
Washington, DC
Melissa (Millie) Chapman
Melissa (Millie) Chapman
PhD Candidate (She/her)