Roadside vegetation: estimation and potential for carbon sequestration
Data de publicação2010-09-27
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The present paper reports the assessment of the vegetation occupancy rate of the roadside, through analysis of aerial photographs. Using such value the potential of these areas to be employed as carbon (C) sinks was also assessed. Moreover, for the areas suitable for afforestation, the potential for carbon sequestration was estimated considering different species of vegetation, both native (scenario 1) and exotic (formed by Pinus sp. and Eucalyptus sp. - scenario 2). The study was carried out through GIS techniques and two regions were considered. A set of equations was used to estimate the rate of occupancy over the study areas, as well as amounts of fixed C under the above scenarios. The average occupancy rate was 0.06%. The simulation showed a higher potential for C sequestration in scenario 2, being the estimated amounts of CO(2) sequestered from the atmosphere per km of roadside: 131 tons of CO(2) km(-1) of highway to native species and 655 tons of CO(2) km(-1) of highway for exotic species (over period of 10 years for both estimates). If we consider the whole road network of the São Paulo State (approximately 190 000 km) and that a considerable part of this road work is suitable to receive this kind of service, it is possible to predict the very high potential for C sequestration if managers and planners consider roadside as area for afforestation.