iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Tree biomass and carbon density estimation in the tropical dry forest of Southern Western Ghats, India

Babu Padmakumar (1)   , Naduparambu P Sreekanth (2), Viswanathan Shanthiprabha (2), Joby Paul (1), Kasau Sreedharan (1), Toms Augustine (1), Kazhuthuttil K Jayasooryan (1), Mutharimettak Rameshan (1), Mahesh Mohan (1), Eswara V Ramasamy (1), Ambattu P Thomas (2)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 11, Issue 4, Pages 534-541 (2018)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor2190-011
Published: Aug 01, 2018 - Copyright © 2018 SISEF

Research Articles

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change highlights the significance of carbon storage and emission in forests towards climate change mitigation. The aim of this study was to quantify the tree biomass and carbon density (carbon storage) in the tropical dry forest of the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary of Kerala located in the Southern Western Ghats, India. We investigated the species-wise contribution of carbon (C) storage, as well as the species-wise and plot-wise correlation between carbon and other dendrometric variables. We also analysed the girth (diameter) wise distribution of carbon and tree density in the study region. The study was conducted in eight selected sample plots of the region, each with an area of 0.1 hectare. Species-specific volume and specific gravity relationship coupled with suitable regression equation were used to estimate biomass. Tree carbon was assumed to be 47% of the biomass. The results showed that the average biomass and carbon density of the vegetation were 64.13 t ha-1 and 30.46 t-C ha-1, respectively. Among the 32 species identified, Tamarindus indica L. (17%), Hardwickia binata Roxb. (14%), Terminalia arjuna (Roxb. ex DC.) Wight & Arn (10%) and Pleiospermium alatum (Wight & Arn.) Swingle (10%) were dominant as for carbon storage. The correlation analysis showed that basal area is a good predictor of tree biomass and carbon, while the role of tree density and tree diversity remain uncertain in determining carbon storage. With respect to diametric class distribution, tree density showed a reverse J-shaped pattern indicating the sustainable regeneration of the analysed forest, where the small- (diameter at breast height 3-9 cm) to medium-sized trees (diameter at breast height 10-69 cm) were found to contribute to more than 50% of biomass and carbon in the forest. The study provides useful information for carbon mitigation strategies in a tropical dry forest in the Southern Western Ghats.


Above Ground Tree Biomass, Carbon, Tropical Dry Forest, Kerala, Southern Western Ghats

Authors’ address

Naduparambu P Sreekanth
Viswanathan Shanthiprabha
Ambattu P Thomas
Advanced Centre of Environmental Studies and Sustainable Development (ACESSD), Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam 686 560 (India)

Corresponding author

Babu Padmakumar


Padmakumar B, Sreekanth NP, Shanthiprabha V, Paul J, Sreedharan K, Augustine T, Jayasooryan KK, Rameshan M, Mohan M, Ramasamy EV, Thomas AP (2018). Tree biomass and carbon density estimation in the tropical dry forest of Southern Western Ghats, India. iForest 11: 534-541. - doi: 10.3832/ifor2190-011

Academic Editor

Tamir Klein

Paper history

Received: Aug 04, 2016
Accepted: Jun 05, 2018

First online: Aug 01, 2018
Publication Date: Aug 31, 2018
Publication Time: 1.90 months

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