New Forests

, Volume 47, Issue 4, pp 565–585 | Cite as

Assessment of biomass recovery and soil carbon storage of fallow forests after swidden cultivation in the Bago Mountains, Myanmar

  • Nyein ChanEmail author
  • Shinya Takeda
  • Reiji Suzuki
  • Sota Yamamoto


The role of swidden fallows in carbon storage is poorly understood, especially in Myanmar, due to the complex and dynamic characteristics of fallows and limited available data. We studied fallow forests formed as a consequence of Karen swiddeners in the Bago Mountains, Myanmar, assessing above- and belowground biomass recovery and soil carbon storage in fallow forests using a chronosequence approach. The accumulated total biomass was 12.13–356.95 Mg ha−1, the accumulated carbon stock was 5.70–167.77 Mg C ha−1, and the soil carbon stock was 5.70–167.77 Mg C ha−1 in the fallow forests. Our analysis suggested that the fallow forests in this study should recover to the total biomass accumulation of old forests after 20–35 years. We established a curve of total biomass accumulation in the fallows against age that can be easily used when the age of the fallows is known. Based on soil carbon analysis, total carbon storage fluctuated with fallow age and decreased with soil depth. The overall soil carbon accumulation in fallow forest soil was 43.63–70.11 Mg ha−1. This study contributes to the understanding of fallow forest and swidden agricultural system carbon stocks and can be used for planning future agreements, such as Reducing Emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD+), at national and regional levels.


Allometries Biomass recovery trend Chronosequence approach Karen people REDD+ 



This study was financially supported by Grants-in-Aid from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Government of Japan (21255003, 15K01877). Great thanks go to Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry, Myanmar, for kindly granting permission to conduct this study in the Bago Mountains, and to the local people at S village for their support and collaboration. Special thanks also go to Unit of Synergetic Studies for Space, Kyoto University (宇宙ユニット) for their financial support to present the outline of this research output at IUFRO2014, Salt Lake City, USA.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (PDF 101 kb)
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Supplementary material 2 (PDF 69 kb)
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Supplementary material 3 (PDF 85 kb)
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Supplementary material 4 (PDF 82 kb)
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Supplementary material 5 (PDF 81 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nyein Chan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Shinya Takeda
    • 1
  • Reiji Suzuki
    • 2
  • Sota Yamamoto
    • 3
  1. 1.Graduate School of Asian and African Area StudiesKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  2. 2.Faculty of Bioenvironmental ScienceKyoto Gakuen UniversityKyotoJapan
  3. 3.Research Center for the Pacific IslandsKagoshima UniversityKagoshimaJapan

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