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Direct estimation of carbon stock from standing trees at campus forest inderalaya, sriwijaya university, south sumatra, indonesia




Study Mode





Environmental Science and Management



International Training and Development Center



K44 - AEP (2012-2016)

Thai Nguyen, 20/09/2016

Thai Nguyen University of Agriculture and Forestry
Degree Program

Bachelor of Environment Science and Management

Student Name

Phong Tran Cong

Student ID


Thesis Tittle


“Direct estimation of carbon stock from standing trees at
campus forest Inderalaya, Sriwijaya University, South
Sumatra, Indonesia”
1. Dr. Iskhaq Iskandar1
2. Dr. Duong Van Thao2

A study of the CO2 stock in Sriwijaya University (Unsri), Inderalaya,
South Sumatra, Indonesia was conducted by using direct measurement and supporting
of Remote Sensing data to identify the plot location. Forest plays an important role in
carbon sequestration the global carbon cycle as carbon sinks of the terrestrial
ecosystem. The carbon sequestered or stored in the tree and forest mostly referred to
the biomass of tree and biomass. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
identified five carbon pools of the terrestrial ecosystem involving biomass, namely the
aboveground biomass, below-ground biomass, litter, woody debris and soil organic
matter. Among all the carbon pools, the aboveground biomass constitutes the major
portion of the carbon pool. Estimating the amount of forest biomass is very crucial for
monitoring and estimating the amount of carbon is lost or emitted during
anthropogenic activities, natural disaster as forest fire and it will also give us an idea of
the forest’s potential to sequester and store carbon in the forest ecosystem. Estimations


Department of Physics, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Science, University of Sriwijaya, Palembang,
The Advanced Education Program, Thai Nguyen University of Agriculture and Forestry, Vietnam


of forest carbon stocks are based upon the estimation of forest biomass. This
estimation will perform by direct field measurement. In addition, with an area of
approximately 712 hectares, Unsri campus is not larger area and accession. It will
be accurate and precise when using field measurement. The study has successfully
presented the storing of carbon in different types of vegetation in Unsri Campus and
also reflecting the reality of vegetation in there.
Number of pages
Date of Submission

Above-ground biomass; Carbon stock; Biomass estimation;
Field measurements; Unsri; Carbon pool.



Fortunately, I have a precious internships opportunity to learning and professional
development in Department of Biology in Sriwijaya University (UNSRI), Inderalaya
and PPLH office in Palembang.
First and foremost, I would like to express my deepest gratitude and special thanks
to my supervisor Dr. Iskhaq Iskandar of Department of Physics, Faculty of
Mathematics and Natural Science in Unsri and Dr. Duong Van Thao of The
Advanced Education Program, Thai Nguyen University of Agriculture and Forestry
(TUAF), Vietnam, Who took time out to hear, guide, support and encourage me on the
correct path and allowing me to carry out my study to have successful results.
Especially, their priceless advices are not a small contribution in orienting my career
and future.
Moreover, I would like to acknowledge with much appreciation the crucial role of
my advisers Agus Dwi Saputra and Guntur Pragustiadi for giving necessary advices
and guidance, helping me during the experiment and completing my thesis, let me
come out to know so many new things in Indonesia. Additionally, I would like to
thank all staff of PPLH office and Indonesian friends who has supported me and
having the best moments while I was conducting my research in Palembang,
Last but not least, thanks to my parents and friends who always encourage and put
me forward and offer support and love.

Tran Cong Phong

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Table 3.1: Co-ordinate point of transects


Table 3.2: List of allometric equations used to estimate biomass of various


Table 4.1: Parameters of each forest types in the study site




Figure 2.1: Approximative values of the carbon content (tonnes per hectare)


for various vegetation types
Figure 2.2: The carbon cycle in nature


Figure 3.1: Map of study area


Figure 3.2: The transect locations in Unsri campus


Figure 3.3: Sample plots for measurement of biomass and carbon stocks


Figure 3.4: Diagram of measuring smaller tree diameter using d-tape (A) and


caliper (B)
Figure 3.5: Guide for determining DBH for abnormal trees


Figure 3.6: Category deadwood considering the amount of carbon left


Figure 4.1 Carbon densities of six typical forests in UNSRI campus. Vertical


bars are standard errors of the mean.



Allometric equation – the forest-biomass inventory technique for dry biomass
determination. It has been developed by establishing a relationship between the
various physical parameters of the trees such as the diameter at breast height, height of
the tree trunk, branch, total height of the tree, crown diameter, tree species.
Biomass – the total amount of living organic matter in trees expressed as oven dry
tons per unit area.
Forest plantation – a forest established by planting or seeding in the process of
afforestation and reforestation consisting of introduce or indigenous species.
Carbon stock – the absolute quantity of carbon held within a pool at a specified time.
In the study carbon stock is use to imply the amount of carbon stored by different
types of standing vegetation that represent the flora of Sriwijaya University campus.
Carbon pool – a reservoir or a system which has the capacity to accumulate or release
carbon. Examples of carbon pools are forest biomass, wood products, soils and the
atmosphere. The units are kg ha-1 or Mg ha-1.




Diameter at Breast Height


Intergovermental Panel on Climate Change


Geographic Information System


Green House Gases


Soil organic carbon


Sriwijaya University


Ton carbon


Ton carbon per hectare


Tons per hectare


1.1. Research rationale
Global climate change in recent decades has occurred due to disruption of energy
balance between the earth and the atmosphere as a result of increased concentrations
of greenhouse gases (GHGs) emissions, including carbon dioxide (CO2), methane
(CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O). Especially, CO2 is the most abundant atmospheric
gas related to the global warming. CO2 is responsible for more than half of
the radioactive forces







CO2 concentration increased by only 20 ppm over the 8000 years prior to
industrialisation; multi-decadal to centennial-scale variations were less than 10 ppm
and likely due mostly to natural processes. However, since 1750, the carbon dioxide
concentration in the atmosphere has increased from about 280 ppm to approximately
379 ppm in 2005 (IPPC, 2007). The rise in the carbon dioxide level in the atmosphere
is mainly caused by anthropogenic activities. Deforestation is having a considerable
impact on the ability of the terrestrial biosphere to emit or remove carbon dioxide from
the atmosphere. Deforestation and degradation of forests lead to emission of carbon
dioxide through the burning of forest biomass which is the most important carbon
sinks of the terrestrial ecosystem.
Indonesia is on track to become the world's third-largest greenhouse gas polluter
this year, surpassing India, as raging forest and land fires pump out huge volumes of
carbon dioxide and thick smoke. About 75 per cent of Indonesia's emissions come
from deforestation, peatland clearance and peat fires every year (Fogarty, 2015).


With regard to the mitigation of climate change impacts, the amount of CO2 in the
atmosphere must be controlled by increasing the amount of CO2 uptake by plants as
much as possible and suppress the release (emission) of CO2 into the atmosphere as
low as possible. So maintaining the integrity of natural forests and planting trees is
very important to reduce the amount of excess CO2 in the air (Hairiah & Rahayu,
One of the efforts to mitigate climate change is reducing deforestation that damage
to the forest where forest ecosystem plays a very important role in the global carbon
cycle by sequestering a substantial amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Other efforts can be done by adding, strengthen or expand the system that serves as an
absorbent and the natural carbon storage (sink) such as forests, so that greenhouse gas
emissions released into the atmosphere can be captured, absorbed and stored back into
the trees. When trees are cut down, the carbons stored in them are released back and
re-accumulate in the atmosphere (Hadad, 2010). Carbon put away in the earth through
living creatures, dead natural matter or silt like fossils of plants and creatures.
However, deforestation the release of carbon into the atmosphere also occurs as much
as the level of forest destruction.
Sriwijaya University campus (Unsri) in Inderalaya has an area of roughly 712
hectares located 38 kilometers to the south of Palembang. This includes the lowland
area consists of terrestrial and marsh area. This campus has been used for academic
activities since 1993. With the diversity and abundance of flora, Unsri campus
represents the largest land area in Indonesia and even in Southeast Asia.
The enormous distinction in the kind of vegetation and area sorts, Unsri grounds
region is relied upon to have a well contrast inside the capacity of putting away carbon

as marshes vegetation, peat, undergrowth backwoods, ranches and arboretum zone.
Plot samplings were chosen in light of the above criteria keeping in mind the end goal
to speak to each diverse vegetation or area. In addition, the aboveground biomass of
the tree is principally the largest carbon pool as the standing trees. The quantity of
trees and vast width was considered for making inspecting plots.
1.2. Research’s objectives
This study expects to estimation the carbon stock in standing trees in Inderalaya,
South Sumatra, Indonesia. On alternate hands, deciding the distinction measure of
carbon was put away in different tree woods.
1.3. Research questions
This study is designed to address the following questions:
How much carbon is stored in various standing tree forests in Unsri campus?
1.4. Limitations
The study technique utilizing as a part of this exploration is non-dangerous field
estimation. This strategy includes a ton of work, time, and asset expending, strenuous.
Moreover, it's difficult to perform, for example, making plots and estimation with the
upsetting of living and dead verdure. Thusly, it may not decisively speak to the carbon
sum is put away in the trees.


2.1. GHG Emissions Impact and Climate Change Mitigation
IPCC’s Third Assessment Report stated ‘there is new and stronger evidence that
most of the warming observed over the past 50 years is attributable to human
activities’. It went on to point out that ‘human influences will continue to change
atmospheric composition throughout the 21st century’ (IPCC, 2001c). The greenhouse
gas making the largest contribution from human activities is carbon dioxide (CO2). It
is released into the atmosphere by: the combustion of fossil fuels such as coal, oil or
natural gas, and renewable fuels like biomass; and by certain industrial and resource
extraction processes.
- Emissions of CO2 due to fossil fuel burning are virtually certain to be the dominant
influence on the trends in atmospheric CO2 concentration during the 21st century.
- Global average temperatures and sea level are projected to rise under all (…)
Climate change could be addressed with mitigation and adaptation. Climate
change mitigation generally involves reductions in human (anthropogenic) emissions
of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Mitigation may also be achieved by increasing the
capacity of carbon sinks, e.g., through reforestation (IPCC, 2007).
The main purpose of the mitigation measures is to stabilize greenhouse gas
concentrations in the atmosphere so as not to disturb and harm the Earth's climate.
Mitigation through the reduction of GHG emissions should be done nationally and
internationally in order to have an impact or effective results globally by reducing or
replacing energy-oil, coal and natural gas with renewable energy such as geothermal,

solar energy, wind energy, biomass and others (Hadad, 2010). And the other important
measurement is expanding forests and other "sinks" to remove greater amounts
of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Forest’s ecosystem is one of the most important carbon sinks of the terrestrial
ecosystem. Especially, tropical forest is stored up to about 46% of the world’s
terrestrial carbon pool and about 11.55% of the world’s soil carbon pool, acting as a
carbon reservoir and functioning as a constant sink of atmospheric carbon (Brown &
Lugo, 1982) (Soepadmo, 1993). Forest’s vegetation takes up the carbon dioxide in the
process of photosynthesis. In this natural process, it removes the carbon dioxide from
the atmosphere and stores the carbon in the plant tissues, forest litter and soils. Thus,
forest ecosystem plays a very important role in the global carbon cycle by sequestering
a substantial amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. However, the overall
amount of carbon stored in the world’s forest ecosystem, mainly in living biomass that
was decreased as a result of deforestation, illegal logging in South and Southeast Asia
Western and Central Africa, and South America.
According to the FAO (2001), the highest rates of deforestation (in 106 ha/yr
during the 1990s) occurred in Brazil (2.317), India (1.897), Indonesia (1.687), Sudan
(1.003), Zambia (0.854), Mexico (0.646), the Democratic Republic of the Congo
(0.538), and Myanmar (0.576) (Paulo & Stephan, 2005). Current emissions of
greenhouse gases from deforestation amount to about 25% of the enhanced greenhouse
effect estimated to result from all anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases. If
current trends continue, tropical deforestation will release about 50% as much carbon
to the atmosphere as has been emitted from worldwide combustion of fossil fuels since
the start of the industrial revolution (Paulo & Stephan, 2005).

Reducing deforestation can be a beneficial mitigation tool to enhance carbon
storage. A reduction in deforestation practices results in fewer carbonemissions,
which would otherwise be released during the act of deforestation and allows the
positive effectson the forest ecosystem to remain in function. As a mitigation tool,
reducing deforestation is beneficial because the trees continue to sequester the carbon
as they grow and also in the soil.
Moreover, reducing deforestation is our best chance to preserve biodiversity and
defend the rights of forest communities. On top of that, it’s one of the quickest and
most cost effective ways to curb global warming.
2.2. Carbon stock
Carbon stocks which are in a system of land use are influenced by the type of
vegetation. A land use systems consist of tree species that have a high value wood
density, biomass will be higher when compared to the land that has species with low
wood density value.
Ecosystems have a target number of carbon stocks between different land,
depending on diversity and density of existing plants, the soil type and the way it is
managed. For the measurement of the amount of carbon stored in each field needs to
be done (Hairiah, Ekadinata, Sari, & Rahayu, 2011).
Carbon is also stored in the dead organic matter pool (necromass) includes dead,
fallen trees and stumps, other coarse woody debris, the layer and charcoal above the
soil surface. The below ground biomass comprises living and dead roots, soil fauna
and the microbial community. There also is a large pool of organic C in various forms
of humus and other soil organic C pools. Other forms of soil C are charcoal from fires

and consolidated C in the form of ironhumus pans and concreons. Increasing the
amount of carbon stored in a carbon pool represents the amount of carbon absorbed
from the atmosphere.
According to (Hairiah, Ekadinata, Sari, & Rahayu, 2011), there are four stages of
how to measure carbon stocks in the forest and agricultural land, namely:
1. Know the name of the type of trees to find the value of wood density, density of
wood trees on the list of trees that have been there.
2. Measure the volume and biomass of all plants and dead woods that are in a land
3. Measure the total carbon content of plants in the laboratory.
4. Assess the carbon content stored on the land in question is based on the stage of
The absorptive capacity of various types of vegetation to carbon dioxide can be
seen in the following figure:

Figure 2.1: Approximative values of the carbon content (tonnes per hectare)
for various vegetation types. (From IPCC, 2001)

2.3. Carbon cycle
Carbon cycling is the process that transfers carbon among the earth’s systems: the
biosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere. As part of the biosphere, trees
and other plants are the primary mechanisms by which carbon is transferred among
different systems. In the atmosphere, carbon is in the form of CO2 compound. The
amount of carbon stored in each ecosystem is different because of differences in the
diversity and complexity of the components that make up the ecosystem (Indriyanto,
Plants pull CO2 out of the atmosphere as part of the process of photosynthesis and
store it in biomass production as stem, branches, roots and leaves. With more
atmospheric carbon dioxide available to convert to plant matter in photosynthesis,
plants were able to grow more. This increased growth is referred to as carbon
fertilization. Then, the CO2 in vegetation is conventionally released back to the
atmosphere through respiration, burning, and biomass decay. In the absence of man’s
interference, the carbon cycle would function as a closed cycle, fluctuating within
boundaries that are ideal to sustain life. Interrupting this cycle, deforestation releases
unnaturally large amounts of CO2 into the carbon cycle.
All components of the vegetation as trees, shrubs, lianas and epiphytes are parts of
the biomass on the surface as above ground biomass pools. The other pool could not
fail to mention is below ground biomass that comprises living and dead roots, soil
fauna and the microbial community. There also is a large pool of organic C in various
forms of humus and other soil organic C pools. For peat land, the largest C pool is
found in soil. The amount of carbon stored may be larger than the existing carbon
deposits on the surface (Sutaryo, 2009).

The carbon cycle was actually a complicated process and every process influence
mutually (Sutaryo, 2009).

Figure 2.2: The carbon cycle in nature (Mondal, n.d)
2.4. Biomass measurements with allometric method
If we consider trees on a population scale, we see that the different dimensions of
an individual are statistically related one with another (Gould, 1966). This relation
stems from the ontogenetic development of individuals which is the same for all to
within the life history related variability. For instance, the proportions between height
and diameter, between crown height and diameter, between biomass and diameter
follow rules that are the same for all trees, big or small, as long as they are growing
under the same conditions (King, 1996) (Archibald & Bond, 2003) (Bohlman &
O’Brien, 2006). This is the basic principle of allometry and can be used to predict a
tree variable (typically its biomass) from another dimension (e.g. its diameter). An
allometric equation is a formula that quantitatively formalizes this relationship.

According to those sentences above, it was quoted from an article (Picard, Henry,
Mortier, Trotta, & Saint André, 2012), allometry is important to estimate biomass of
vegetation and forest. In recent decades, using allometric equation method to estimate
biomass of forest is most widely.
The allometric equations are developed and applied to forest inventory data to
assess the biomass and carbon stocks of forests. Many researchers have developed
generalized biomass prediction equations for different types of forest and tree species
(Vashum & Jayakumar, 2012).The allometric equations for biomass estimation are
developed by establishing a relationship between the various physical parameters of
the trees such as the diameter at breast height, height of the tree trunk, total height of
the tree, crown diameter, tree species, etc.
The relevant methods reviewed included allometric equations to estimate above
and below ground biomass, soil organic carbon (SOC), understory, litter and dead
wood, and gaseous states of wetland soil and water (Binh, 2015). In those pools,
aboveground biomass is an important component of the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change’s (IPCC’s) of carbon in a forest ecosystem. Generally, the estimated
biomass components are the above-ground live biomass with 17 allometric equations.
This estimate does not include understory, deadwood, root and other under-ground
biomass components and therefore is likely to be an underestimate of actual levels of
carbon stocks.
Forest biomass can be estimated through field measurement and remote sensing
and GIS methods (Vashum & Jayakumar, 2012). In field measurement, there are two
methods are available which are the destructive method (harvesting and measuring the


weight of the different components of the all tree in the sample plots) and the nondestructive method (this method estimates the biomass of a tree without felling).
Measurement of plant biomass can be done by non-destructive methods, if other
plants are already known measured allometric formula. Destructive method carried out
by researchers for the purpose of allometric formula development, especially on the
types of trees that have a specific branching pattern of the unknown allometric
equation in general. Allometric developments are done by cutting down trees and
measure the diameter, length and weight of the wet. This method is also carried out at
lower plants, annuals and shrubs (Hairiah, Ekadinata, Sari, & Rahayu, 2011).
Forest biomass measurements cover the entire biomass of living that are above and
below the surface of trees, shrubs, palms, tree saplings and other undergrowth,
creepers, lianas, epiphytes and the dead tree components with the biomass like wood
and litter.
2.5. Sriwijaya University
Sriwijaya University (UNSRI) was established on October 29, 1960. Now, The
University has 10 faculties, in a bachelor's degree: Faculty of Economics, Faculty of
Law, Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Agriculture, Faculty of
Teacher Training and Education, Faculty of Social Science and Political Science,
Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Science, Faculty of Computer Science, Faculty of
Public Health. Sriwijaya University has two main campuses, namely in Inderalaya
(Ogan Ilir) and in Bukit Besar (Palembang). Bukit Besar campus Palembang breadth
32.5 acres, used as an educational facility program S0 (D3), S2 and S3, and S1 Class
Palembang. Main campus with an area of 712 acres Inderalaya located 38 kilometers

to the south of the city of Palembang, an Activity Center for Education bachelor's
degree (S1).
With a large campus in Inderalaya (712 ha) but only about 195.06 ha of forest
areas such as plantations, arboretum and swamped vegetation, forest thicket. The
existence of various types of vegetation and land in this area certainly has a different
ability to store carbon reserves. So expect Unsri Inderalaya campus has a great
potential as a carbon reserve storage area and the absence of previous research in this
area will require data on estimates of carbon stocks across the region with the
restriction of the study by 195.06 ha.


3.1. Materials
The equipments used in the study were followed:
- 1 GPS machine (Global Positioning System).
- 1 calipers, 2 compasses.
- 1 digital camera.
- 2 measuring tapes (100m), 1 measuring tape (1,5m).
- 1 machete.
- 1 pencil, 1 pen, 1 marker pens.
- 2 plastic coils for setting up observation subplots.
- 1 scales capacity of 10 kg.
- 12 worksheets.
- Wooden sticks 1.3 m long to measure stem height for DBH measurement.
3.2. Methods
3.2.1. Study site and time
The study was conducted from March to June 2016 at Sriwijaya University,
Inderalaya, Organ Ilir, South Sumatra, Indonesia, which contains diverse types of
stands. Forest areas cover 195.06 ha out of the total area of 712 ha. A total of 6 plots
were randomly selected for carbon storage assessment, covering six types of stands:
Arboretum forest (plot 1); Oil palm plantation (plot 2); Rubber tree plantation (plot 3);
Secondary forests (plot 4); Regenerating forest (plot 5); Acacia forest (plot 6). The
location of the study area and plots was following in below the map:


Figure 3.1: Map of study area

3.2.2. Transect determination
Determining of transection is based on the types of vegetations and different types
of lands (purposive sampling) so as to represent the types of lands and vegetations in
forest areas in Inderalaya Sriwijaya University.

Figure 3.2: The transect locations in Unsri campus. Sources: Image Landsat from
Google Earth (free version).
Table 3.1: Co-ordinate point of transects

Co-ordinate point

Oil palm plantations
Rubber plantations
South of the border of Tanjung
Pering village
Outskirts of the marsh, behind
the back of Faculty of Public

3.2.3. Plot determination
Determining the sample sites is done by under present the vegetation in Unsri.
Taking 6 plots that are sufficient to represent the vegetation criteria of Unsri campus,
Inderalaya. The rectangular shape of the plot is relatively often used in the analysis of
forest vegetation in Indonesia (Hairiah, Ekadinata, Sari, & Rahayu, 2011). Moreover,
the plot consists of several sub-plots (combined or nested plots) are also more
frequently used in natural tropical forests. Nested plot is very suitable for use in the
forest with high variability and various canopy stratums. Thus, the nested and
rectangular plots are designed for measuring forest biomass and carbon stock in this

Figure 3.3: Sample plots for measurement of biomass and carbon stocks
(Hairiah, Ekadinata, Sari, & Rahayu, 2011).

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