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Carbon stocks of Geramo forest, the western escarpment of the rift valley of Ethiopia

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Forests play a vital role in the global carbon balance and combating global climate change by sequestering and retaining carbon from the atmosphere in their biomass and soil. Thus, this study aims to estimate the carbon stocks in the biomass and soil along with various environmental factors in the Geramo forest in southern Ethiopia. Ninety-six plots (20 × 20 m2) were laid at a distance of 250 m along 16 line transects that were laid 300 m apart. Five 1 × 1 m2 subplots (4 at the corner and 1 at the center) were laid inside each main plot for LHG and soil data collection. The results revealed that the estimated total carbon stocks and mean carbon stock densities of the study forest were 57994 Mg h−1and 604 ± 344 Mg h−1, respectively, with a mean CO2 equivalent of 2217 ± 1262 Mg h−1. This result indicates the remarkable role of the Geramo forest in carbon stock and sequestration potential compared with other remnant forests in Ethiopia. Thus, the Geramo forest plays a crucial role in climate change mitigation through carbon sequestration, and hence, this forest can generate carbon credits as financial benefits to the nearby population in the future. The results also revealed that anthropogenic disturbances were negatively associated with the carbon stocks of the forest. Therefore, sustainable forest conservation activities are needed to conserve forest resources, protect the forest from growing anthropogenic disturbances, and sustain its current global climate change mitigation and adaptation benefits.

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