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The advantages and limitations of global datasets to assess carbon stocks as proxy for land degradation in an Ethiopian case study

The advantages and limitations of global datasets to assess carbon stocks as proxy for land degradation in an Ethiopian case study

Cerretelli, Stefania, Poggio, Laura, Yakob, Getahun, Boke, Shiferaw, Habte, Mulugeta, Coull, Malcolm, Peressotti, Alessandro, Black, Helaina and Gimona, Alessandro (2021) The advantages and limitations of global datasets to assess carbon stocks as proxy for land degradation in an Ethiopian case study. Geoderma, 399:115117. ISSN 0016-7061 (doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoderma.2021.115117)

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Abstract

Land degradation leads to ecosystem degradation, reducing ecosystem functioning and depleting ecosystems' resilience. The majority of factors linked to land degradation are closely related with the depletion of below- and above-ground stocks of organic carbon. Organic carbon stock is important for climate change mitigation and for restoring soil functions such as those crucial to support food security. In this study, we mapped carbon stocks to infer land degradation in a small area in the Ethiopian Great Rift Valley. The study aimed to assess carbon stock status and to identify limitations and advantages of using global data in mapping at local scale relative to using local data. Two different datasets were developed; i) a “global dataset” characterised by data from datasets with global coverage data, and ii) a “hybrid dataset” that coupled data from global datasets, soil data derived from a local survey, and land cover data derived from a supervised classification of satellite images. The results showed that i) global datasets introduced inaccuracy that must be taken into account for advocating interventions at a local scale, and ii) global datasets could be used at a small catchment level for decision-making, if a simple rank of values is sufficient, but they might provide an optimistic picture of land degradation because they overestimate stocks.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: carbon stocks modelling, land degradation, Ethiopia, soil organic carbon, global datasets
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Agriculture, Health & Environment Department
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Ecosystem Services Research Group
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2021 09:03
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/32805

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