Remote sensing, allometry, and carbon stocks of Phyllostachys aurea in the Western Highlands of Cameroon


Year of Publication: 2024

Authors: R. Kaam, M. Tchamba, B. Neba, C. Chimi


The fight against climate change is one of the major concerns of the international community and has led to a search to identify cost-effective ways to manage ecosystems in a way that removes atmospheric carbon-dioxide while providing essential societal benefits. As bamboo ecosystems in Cameroon are poorly known, this study sought to evaluate the distribution of bamboo, develop allometric equations for it and estimate carbon stocks associated with bamboo in the Western Highlands of Cameroon. Landsat 8 OLI imagery was used to increase data on the distribution and carbon stocks of Phyllostachys aurea Carrière ex Rivière & C. Rivière in the study area. P. aurea is reportedly the most exploited species for ecological, socioeconomic and cultural activities in the region, posing a challenge for the sustainability of the species. Twelve circular plots were established in P. aurea stands in the Western Highlands. Five per cent of the bamboo stems were harvested. Every stem was sorted into leaves, branches, and culms. These were weighed, and sub-samples taken to the laboratory. Sub-samples were oven-dried for biomass estimation. Regression analysis was used to develop the allometric equations. The best equation was used to estimate the carbon stocks. The Western Highlands region of Cameroon is estimated to have 241,296 ha of bamboos. The dominant bamboo species identified in the study area include Oldeania alpina (K.Schum.) Stapleton (syn. Yushania alpina K.Schum.), Bambusa vulgaris Schrad. ex J.C.Wendl. and P. aurea. Focusing on P. aurea the best fit equation with a bias of − 6.98%, Adj.R² = 0.711, AIC = 17 and RSE = 0.262, was selected. The mean density of P. aurea was 38,017 ± 4510 culms.ha−1. The mean culm aboveground biomass was 3.15 ± 0.94 kg. The AGB of P. aurea was estimated at 119.05 ± 3.63 t.ha−1, mean AGC was 55.95 ± 5.81 t C.ha−1 and mean aboveground carbon dioxide equivalence (AGCO2eq) was 205.35 ± 58.01.22 t CO2.ha−1P. aurea constitutes a significant carbon sink in the Western Highlands of Cameroon. Policymakers and development planners should therefore recommend this species for carbon markets, international initiatives such as AFR100, and the Nationally Determined Contribution addressing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 13 (SDG13) to combat climate change.