Journal article
Simulating the effects of urbanization, afforestation and cropland abandonment on a regional carbon balance: a case study for Central Germany

Publication Details
Schaldach, R.; Alcamo, J.
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Regional Environmental Change
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The newly developed model system HILLS is used to simulate recent (1990-2000) and future (up to 2020) changes in land use and carbon sequestration over Central Germany. HILLS is unique as that it integrates the spatially explicit land-use-change model LUC-Hesse with the dynamic ecosystem model Century under a GIS platform. With this new tool, the concurrent effects of urbanization, afforestation and cropland abandonment on regional carbon sequestration are analyzed for an exemplary "Business as Usual" scenario. During the simulation period, afforestation was estimated to sequester 880 Gg C and cropland abandonment 783 Gg C. Urbanization was estimated to release 336 Gg C formerly stored in soil organic matter and thereby offsets about 20% of the C sequestered by cropland abandonment and afforestation. The case study shows that urbanization can partly counteract the benefits of carbon sequestration resulting from other land-use changes and should be investigated in other carbon balances.

Last updated on 2019-01-11 at 16:05