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ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2017, 6(10), 298; doi:10.3390/ijgi6100298

Mapping Changes in Carbon Storage and Productivity Services Provided by Riparian Ecosystems of Semi-Arid Environments in Northwestern Mexico

Departamento de Investigaciones Científicas y Tecnológicas, Universidad de Sonora, Luis Donaldo Colosio s/n, entre Sahuaripa y Reforma, Colonia Centro, Hermosillo C.P. 83000, Sonora, Mexico
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Received: 22 June 2017 / Revised: 22 September 2017 / Accepted: 24 September 2017 / Published: 26 September 2017
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Abstract

We analyze the importance of riparian ecosystems (RE) as critical areas for carbon storage and productivity in semi-arid regions of Northwest Mexico. We calculated the carbon storage by land cover and compared temporal trends of basal productivity (MODIS) and pre-monsoon productivity (Landsat) of RE, to other land cover types. We used land cover maps generated previously for the region (years 1993, 2002, and 2011), assigning values of carbon stored in aerial and root biomass, as well as organic carbon stored in the soil. To estimate productivity (proxy), time series were generated using the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) values of Landsat 4–5 TM and MODIS for each land cover type. We found that RE stores 93,147 tC/ha, about 1.5 times the estimated storage for oak forest (65,048 tC/ha). Productivity of RE was similar to highly productive land cover types, such as agriculture and oak forest, and higher than in the rest of the ecosystems of the region. We also found that changes from RE to agriculture and cultivated grasslands represented a decrease in productivity (p < 0.001). Finally, we report a gradual decrease in basal productivity (p = 0.0151) and pre-monsoon productivity (p = 0.031) in the RE. These results help us understand that changes in land use, intensive use of water, and climate can influence the ecosystem services of productivity and carbon storage offered by RE in semi-arid areas. View Full-Text
Keywords: riparian ecosystems; ecosystem services; carbon storage; basal productivity; pre-monsoon productivity riparian ecosystems; ecosystem services; carbon storage; basal productivity; pre-monsoon productivity
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Mendez-Estrella, R.; Romo-Leon, J.R.; Castellanos, A.E. Mapping Changes in Carbon Storage and Productivity Services Provided by Riparian Ecosystems of Semi-Arid Environments in Northwestern Mexico. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2017, 6, 298.

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