Africa’s woodlands in transition: effects of climate change, land-use change on plant functional diversity and their carbon pools
James Nana Ofori, Amanuel Gebremichael, Larissa Raatz, Anja Linstädter
University of Potsdam, Inst. of Biochemistry and Biology, Germany
Globally, forest and savannah ecosystems are among those containing the main carbon pools. Woody biomass within Africa’s ecosystem stores about 25% of tropical forest carbon. However, African forest and savannah ecosystems are currently experiencing rapid transitions due to deforestation and land-use intensification, with profound, usually negative consequences for carbon storage in woody biomass. At the same time, ongoing climate change is projected to have substantial effects on carbon pools, which potentially interact with the effect of land-use change. Moreover, climate and land-use change are known to be the most important drivers for biodiversity losses, which can in turn have indirect effects on carbon stocks. There is the need for a better understanding of how climate and land-use change jointly and directly affect carbon pools in Africa’s woody vegetation. Likewise, we need to better understand the extent they exert indirect effects on carbon storage through their effects on plant diversity.
Keywords: Biomass, carbon pools, climate change, functional diversity, functional traits , land-use change
Contact Address: James Nana Ofori, University of Potsdam, Inst. of Biochemistry and Biology, Biodiversity Research / Syst. Botany, Taubenbogen 8, 14476 Potsdam, Germany, e-mail: james.nana.oforiuni-potsdam.de