Forest biomass extraction for livestock feed and associated carbon analysis in lower Himalayas, India

  • Rajiv PandeyEmail author
Original Article


Accounting the changes in the net carbon (C) sink-source balance is an important component for greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) inventories. However, carbon emission due to the vegetation biomass extraction for household purposes is generally not accounted in forest carbon budget analysis due to miniscule volume and non-availability of data. However, if vegetation remains in the forests, then vegetation biomass decomposes after natural death and decay and fixes some carbon to soil and releases some directly to the atmosphere. The study attempts to quantify the carbon removal against the biomass extraction for livestock feed by collecting primary data on feed from 316 randomly selected households engaged in livestock rearing in the lower Himalayas, Uttarakhand, India and carbon flow components due to livestock production. The analysis results that average daily forest fodder consumption was 13 kg per Adult Cattle Unit (ACU) and total of 20.31 Million tonnes (Mt) consumption of forest biomass by total livestock of Uttarakhand. This results into absolute annual carbon removal of 3.25 Mt from Uttarakhand forests against the livestock fodder. However, overall carbon flow including the enteric fermentation and manure management system of livestock estimated as per IPCC guidelines, results into emissions of 9.42 Mt CO2 eq. Therefore, biomass extraction for household purposes should be accounted in regional carbon flow analysis and properly addressed in the GHG inventories of the forests and livestock sector. Suitable measures should be taken for emissions reduction generated due to forest based livestock production.


Anthropogenic disturbances Carbon accounting Carbon flow Fodder Leakage Sink and source Understorey biomass 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biodiversity and Climate Change Division, Indian Council of Forestry Research & EducationDehradunIndia

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