Landscape change and carbon sequestration: the case of the Deilão parish, northeastern Portugal Conference Paper uri icon


  • We estimated carbon stocks at the landscape level over the last 48 years in the Deilão Parish (4200 ha), Bragança District, Northeastern Portugal, with the purpose of analyzing carbon sequestration dynamics in this changing landscape. We created land use GIS coverages from digitized and orthocorrected aerial photographs from 1958, 1968, 1980, 1992 and 2006 based on the COS2005 (IGP) land use/land cover classification system. Bellow‐ and aboveground carbon stocks for each land unit were estimated based upon published biomass equations and inventory data. Combining patch level data with GIS coverages we estimated biomass and carbon in the landscape for the 5 dates above. The Deilão parish presented symptoms of abandonment such as a decrease in agriculture (53% of the area in 1958 to 37% in 2006) and an increase in forest plantations (0.8% in 1958 to 32% in 2006). Shrublands also decreased from 46% to 30% of the area within the same period. Sequestered carbon in Deilão increased 360% during the 48 period of time under consideration, from 20,572t in 1958 to 75,449t in 2006. This corresponds to a mean annual sequestration rate of 0.27t/ha/year. Changes in carbon stocks are due mainly to land use change and vegetation growth described above, most noticeably the expansion and growth of newly planted forest stands.

publication date

  • January 1, 2010