, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 1-12
Date: 20 Jan 2009

The net ecosystem carbon exchange of human-modified environments in the Australian Capital Region

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Abstract

As part of a larger study to quantify and map ecosystem services in southeast Australia, we estimated carbon stored in biomass and soils and the net ecosystem carbon exchange between the land surface and the atmosphere in the Australian Capital Region (ACR). Our aim was to understand and quantify how different human-modified landscapes provide an essential ecosystem service: the exchange and storage of carbon in the landscape. Using a remote sensing based modelling methodology, we obtained values of Net Primary Productivity (NPP), total carbon in soil and biomass and carbon turnover from meteorological and terrain inputs and vegetation attributes. We obtained a set of maps of NPP, total carbon (C) storage and C-turnover for the ACR. We superimposed a land use/cover map to assign the uptake, storage and release of carbon to different land use/cover types. Our results support the hypothesis that human-intensive land uses significantly affect the ability of terrestrial ecosystems to provide an important ecosystem service in the form of carbon storage.