Drivers of Biomass Stocks Variability in Land Uses in the Togodo Protected Area Complex and Fringe Zone in South- Eastern Togo West Africa
Objective: West Africa region is marked by a change in land use with the conversion of forest land and wooded areas into agricultural land or other uses to meet the needs for agricultural lands and forest products of the fast-growing human population. These frequent changes influenced the biomass and carbon sequestration in land cover properties and land use patterns. Although many studies have focused on carbon stocks in African forests, knowledge on the influence of land-use changes on biomass productivity is still insufficiently documented in most Sub Sahara countries and particularly in Togo. This study aims to evaluate the impacts of land-use changes on biomass productivity and to determine the drivers of the spatial distribution of biomass in different ecosystems in South-Eastern Togo.
Methods: Three types of data were collected namely dendrometric data through forest inventories, herbaceous biomass data through plot cutting and root biomass data through soil sampling.
Results: Based on existing allometric models and weighing of herbaceous and roots, the results obtained for the different land uses reflect a high variability in the average total biomass, i.e. 266.24 ± 14.37 t/ha, 183.04 ± 20.44 t/ha, 99.89 ± 11.15 t/ha, 79.88 ± 3.38 t/ha and 49.80 ± 4.25 t/ha respectively for teak plantation, semi-deciduous forest, wooded savannahs, fallows and farm-land. Biomass productivity across different land uses shows a very high variability (p<0.001). Biomass values obtained indicates also a significant difference between the above-ground and the underground compartments of the different ecosystems (p<0.001).
Conclusion: Our results emphasise that the main factors influencing the variability of biomass stocks include land use and management patterns, biotic factors and climatic factors. All these results help to put in place appropriate management systems for relatively well-conserved ecosystems in order to increase carbon sequestration of the ecosystems and their capacity to provide ecosystem services.
Adjonou Kossi, Segla Kossi Novinyo, Abotsi Komla Elikplim, Fontodji Kokou Jeremie, Kokutse Adzo Dzlfa and Kokou Kouami