Opposing Ecological Strategies Together Promote Biomass Carbon Storage in Homegardens Agroforestry of Southern Bangladesh

Author:- Md Mizanur Rahman, Gauranga Kumar Kundu, Md Enamul Kabir, Heera Ahmed and Ming Xu
Category:- Journal; Year:- 2021
Discipline:- Forestry & Wood Technology Discipline
School:- Life Science School


Exploration of the biodiversity–environmental factors–carbon storage relationships have been a central research question in the changing global climate over the last few decades. However, in comparison to other forest ecosystems, very few studies have been conducted in homegarden agroforestry plantations, which have a tremendous capacity to battle global climate change sustainably. We hypothesized that (i) soil organic matter content has both a direct and indirect effect on aboveground carbon storage through species richness, structural diversity, functional diversity (FD) and functional composition (FC); (ii) some facets of diversity (structural diversity, FD and FC) would be more important in linking species richness to aboveground carbon; (iii) species richness, FC, structural diversity and FD would have a positive impact on aboveground carbon storage (AGC) after considering the effect of soil fertility; and (iv) FC would have a greater effect on AGC than the other three components of biodiversity. These hypotheses were tested using structural equation modeling with field data obtained from 40 homesteads in southwestern Bangladesh. We observed that species richness, FC of maximum canopy height and structural diversity had significant effects on AGC, while soil organic matter and FD of wood density had an insignificant effect. Among the four biodiversity components, the structural diversity had a greater influence on AGC. Contrary to our hypothesis, soil fertility and species richness did not have a significant indirect effect on AGC through their mediators. These four components of biodiversity, along with soil organic matter together explained 49% of the variance in AGC. Our findings indicate that both niche complementarity and selection effects regulate AGC in homegardens, where the former theory had stronger control of AGC in homegardens. Therefore, we need to maintain not only the species diversity but also structural diversity (DBH) and functional composition (canopy height) for enhancing aboveground carbon storage on a sustainable basis in homegardens and other restoration programs under nature-based solution

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