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  • Writer's pictureJon Ferguson

Measuring Carbon Capture In Peru

Yeltsin M. Flores-Mejía, ECOTIERRA’s Head of Monitoring and Quality Control in Peru, recently published a scientific article titled, “Captura de carbono en plantación forestal de laurel y sistema agroforestal laurel–café en la Provincia de San Ignacio” located in Peru. We are excited to take the opportunity this week to share an interview taken with Yeltsin to further explore his recent publication and results from the study.

For people unfamiliar with the science behind measuring carbon sequestration, why is it important?

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a greenhouse gas that is naturally found in the atmosphere and human activities are increasing the concentration of atmospheric carbon, thereby contributing to global warming. Capturing carbon dioxide is one of the techniques that could be used to reduce CO2 emissions from human activities.

Measuring carbon sequestration is important to quantify greenhouse gas emissions, generally representing the amount of greenhouse gases emitted to the atmosphere which is derived from the production or consumption of goods and services.

In the article, what is the purpose of comparing Cordia alliodora (PF) plantations with Cordia alliodora-Coffea arabica (SAF) agroforestry systems?

The two populations were compared because plantations of Cordia alliodora are typical of the area and associate it with coffee cultivation. With the results obtained from the study, we hope to raise awareness of the importance of the environmental services offered by Cordia alliodora(PF) and Cordia alliodora-Coffea arabica(SAF) agroforestry systems.

What are the main basic differences between Cordia alliodora (PF) plantations and Cordiaalliodora-Coffea arabica (SAF) agroforestry systems?

Cordia alliodora (PF) forests are established through afforestation or reforestation efforts. This study sample focused on forests with a planting density of 1093 trees/ha. Cordia alliodora with Coffea arabica (SAF) are systems that include coffee production within similar afforestation or reforestation areas, with the application of soil conservation practices.

How might this study influence the way professionals approach carbon sequestration? Every professional reading the article can become aware that forest plantations and agroforestry systems are a potential carbon sink to contribute to the transition to sustainable development. Readers should bear in mind that ecosystems cannot solve the problem of global warming alone, as we need commitments from community members and their governments. Were you surprised by the results of your study? The results obtained in the study indicate that the PF captured greater carbon, with 482.07tnC/ha, while in agroforestry systems of Cordia alliodora-Coffea arabica (SAF) with lower carbon sequestration, with 118.1 tnC/ha. These results surprised me, as I had expected greater carbon sequestration in agroforestry systems of Cordia alliodora-Coffea arabica(SAF). This explains the influence of site quality indexes. In general, this research allowed us to deeper explore these issues, and the results obtained from our study were similar to findings by other authors.

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