Carbon storage, structure and composition of miombo woodlands in Tanzania’s Eastern Arc Mountains


We determine the aboveground biomass and carbon stor- age (ABGC) of trees and the herbaceous layer in miombo woodland in the Eastern Arc Mountains (EAM) of Tanza- nia. In four 1-ha sample plots in Nyanganje and Kitonga Forests, we measured all trees ‡10 cm diameter alongside height and wood mass density. The plots contained an average of 20 tree species ha )1 (range 11–29) and 344 stems ha )1 (range 281–382) with Shannon diversity values of 1.05 and 1.25, respectively. We weighted nine previously published woody savannah allometric models based on whether: (i) the model was derived from the same geographical region; (ii) the model included tree height ⁄ - wood mass density in addition to stem diameter; and (iii) sample size was used to fit the model. The weighted mean ABGC storage from the nine models range from 13.5 ± 2 to 29.8 ± 5 Mg ha )1 . Measured ABGC storage in the herbaceous layer, using the wet combustion method, adds 0.55 ± 0.02 Mg C ha )1 . Estimates suggest that EAM miombo woodlands store a range of 13–30 Mg ha )1 of carbon. Although the estimates suggest that miombo woodlands store significant quantities of carbon, caution is required as this is the first estimate based on in situ data.


African Journal of Ecology, 2011; 49: 332–342


Carbon storage, Composition, Eastern Arc Mountains, Miombo woodland, Structure