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Carbon storage estimation in a secondary tropical forest at CIEE Sustainability Center, Monteverde, Costa Rica.

Abstract

Secondary growth tropical rainforests have the potential to sequester large amounts of atmospheric carbon dioxide and as such are an important carbon sink. To evaluate a local forest, a Carbon Neutrality Program was initiated at the Council on International Educational Exchange, San Luis Campus, Monteverde, Costa Rica. The study was conducted on 50 hectares of forest classified as Premontane Wet Forest. The forest, part of the Arenal-Monteverde Protected Zone, is estimated to be aproximately 50 years old and is in the upper regions of the San Luis valley at 1100 m elevation. Assessment of the carbon stock in trees was carried out in two permanent, 1 hectare plots, 100 m by 100 m, Camino Real and Zapote. The plots were divided into 25 subplots, 20 m by 20 m totaling 400 m2 per subplot. Ten subplots in each area were studied which represented 1.6% the total surface area of the forest. All of the trees were measured within the subplots that had a diameter at breast height ≥ 10 cm and the height of 10% of the trees measured. The estimated total CO2 sequestered by the campus forest was 18,210 ton (in 2019).

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