Carbon Sequestration by Woody Trees and Shrubs in Northeastern Mexico: A Synthesis

RATIKANTA MAITI,1 HUMBERTO GONZALEZ RODRIGUEZ,1'

CH. ARUNA KUMARI,2 and NARAYAN CHANDRA SARKAR3

Wniversidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon, Facultad de Ciencias Forestales, Carr. Nac. No. 85 Km. 45, Linares, Nuevo Leon 67700, Mexico

  • 2Professor Jaya Shankar Telangana State Agricultural University, Agricultural College, Jagtial, India
  • 3 Department ofASEPAN, Institute of Agriculture, Visva-Bharati, PO Sriniketan, Birbhum, West Bengal 731236, India

'Corresponding author. E-mail: This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it

ABSTRACT

Carbon sequestration reveals the capacity of plants in fixation of carbon dioxide through leaves and stores them in plant biomass and wood, thereby reducing carbon load from atmosphere.

The present chapter makes a brief review of research undertaken globally with special reference to woody trees and shrubs in Northeastern Mexico. In this study, a few species with high carbon fixation/carbon content in leaves such as LeucophyUum frutescens, 49.97%; Forestiera angusti- folia, 49.47%; Acacia berlandieri, 49.18%; Bumelia celastrina, 49.25%; and the species with moderately high carbon—Acacia rigidula, 48.23%; Acacia farnesiana, 46.17%; Gymnospermum glutinosum, 46.13%; Croton suaveolens, 45.17%; Sargenia greggii, 44.07%, and so on were selected. Few other species contained carbon ranging from 31% to 43%. It is recommended that these native plants could be transplanted in areas contaminated with high carbon load. The species with high carbon concentration are good sources of energy and growth of these species, besides sources of charcoal for the forest dwellers.

INTRODUCTION

Trees and shrubs are our life savers for reducing carbon dioxide emitted by greenhouse gases (GHGs) and supplying oxygen for our respiration. These trees and shrubs in the semiarid regions of Tamaulipan thorn scrub serve as important sources of timbers for furniture and sources of forage and nutrients for wild grazing animals for possessing various micro and macronutrients required for wild animals in Northeast of Mexico (Ramirez, 1998; Ramirez- Lozano, 2015). The availability of nutrients in leaves is essential for efficient plant function (Chaplin, 1982).

Trees also have the ability to fix atmospheric Carbon dioxide in the biomass and besides their ability to contribute to plant growth and productivity they supply nutrients also. We narrate here a brief review of research undertaken in carbon fixation and its impact in climate change. Many research activities have been directed on nutrient content and metabolism in leaves (Chapman et al., 1990). Plants have capacity to capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere during the process of photosynthesis and finally store carbon in biomass and wood as sources of bioenergy. Variation in carbon fixation by photosynthesis is related to variation of carbon deposition in plant species.

Carbon is the source of energy for plants. During photosynthesis, plants take in CO, and give off the oxygen (O,) to the atmosphere. The oxygen released is available for respiration. The plants retain and use the stored carbon for growth to guide all metabolic functions. Finally, carbon is stored in plant organs and timber serving as an important source of energy. On the other hand, as a consequence of global climatic change generated, there is an eventual increase in the aerial temperature and an increase of GHGs, particularly CO,.

There are two methods of sequestration of carbon dioxide from atmosphere, land management practice for maximizing the storage of carbon in soil and another by plant for long term as mentioned above. Geologic sequestration involves a process in carbon sequestration process (CCS/0 Process). In this process, carbon is stored through agricultural and forestry practices. This involves also injection of carbon dioxide captured from the atmosphere is injected deep underground where carbon dioxide oxide is stored permanently. Carbon fixation in trees is a micro optimization process leading to the accumulation of carbon in plant organs. Two alternative economic- analog models of carbon fixation are developed by John Holt (1990). The second model takes into consideration of carbon revenue as the minimum of two functions involving carbon gain to leaf and root biomass, respectively. In both of these models, leaves and roots are the limiting factors. Coleman et al. (1995) undertook a study on the photosynthetic productivity of aspen clones varying in sensitivity to tropospheric ozone revealing the influence of environments on this activity. Increasing global warming associated with incessant logging, illegal anthropogenic activities and conversion of forest to agriculture have enhanced the accumulation of GHGs mainly carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, thereby increasing pollution and climate change (Alig et al., 2002). The constant emission of carbon dioxide by burning of fossil fuels is a menace to enhance atmospheric pollution and is endangering the security of mankind and animals. This has direct impact on climate changes, thereby, reducing crop productivity and aggravating poverty. Different technologies are adopted to mitigate it in different developed countries in relation to carbon dioxide capture and sequestration but these high-cost technologies are beyond the reach of developing countries to adopt this technology. This urges a great necessity to reduce CO, load from the atmosphere.

In this respect, plants have capacity to capture carbon dioxide load from the atmosphere during the process of photosynthesis, synthesis of carbohydrate which is stored as carbon. Variation in carbon fixation by photosynthesis is related to variation of carbon deposition in plant species. Carbon is the source of energy for plants. Carbon fixation through the process of photosynthesis leads to the production of biomass and dry matter production in the forest plants.

The accumulation of forest biomass determines the amount of carbon store in forest plants (Brown, 1999). During the process of photosynthesis, plants take in CO, and give off the oxygen (O,) to the atmosphere. This oxygen that is released is made available for our respiration. The plants retain and use the stored carbon for growth to guide all metabolic functions (Lincoln Taiz and Edwardo Zeger, 1998). In order to mitigate carbon pollution, forest plantation is done to capture and retain carbon. Forests play an important role in the global C cycle (Brown, 1999).

There exists a great diversity among plat species in growth habit, leaf size, lea shape, canopy and capacity of carbon fixation needed for photosynthesis and respiration (Wright et al., 2001). The fixation of CO, into living matter maintains all life on Earth and the biosphere with geochemistry. Braaakman and Smith (2012) developed a model for early evolution of biological carbon fixation process. This finally leads to all modern pathways to a single ancestral form. From this has arisen most early divergence of tree life. This in turn integrates fully their metabolic and phylogenetic constraints.

In the United States storage of carbon is forests is encouraged not for paying carbon tax. In Eastern United States and South Et Colorado, Keller et al. (2003) adopted a strategy for sequestration of carbon dioxide for managing future climate change and optimum economic growth framework. They developed first, a simple analytical model, and second, by using a numerical optimization model with an objective to explore the problem in a more realistic manner.

The incessant increase of GHGs caused by logging, illegal human activities is a menace to our life security. This particular greenhouse gas levels were increased several folds leading to pollution and climate change (Alig Adorns and Me Cor, 2002).

It is well known that the increased global wanning is attributed to the increased concentration of various GHGs as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulfur dioxide, chlorofluorocarbon, ozone and water vapor (Garduno, 2004). On the other hand, the excess atmospheric carbon being released in the atmosphere can be absorbed by photosynthesis by trees and ecosystems (Rodriguez et al., 2008) Carbon sequestration has significant role in reducing global wanning (Pimients et al., 2007). It is suggested by Adam Martin and Sean Thomas that an accurate knowledge of carbon content in live wood is a great necessity for quantification of tropical forest carbon stocks. They reported that wood carbon content differed significantly among species from 41.9% to 51%.

In Mexico, various studies have been undertaken on the variability of carbon content in the above-ground biomass (Gyosco and Guarine, 2005; Yemena et al., 2012a). Jimenez et al. (2013) estimated Wood carbon contents of some representative species of the pine-ok forest of Sirra Madre Oriental. The species included are Pinus pseuditrobus, Juniperus flaccida, Quercus laceyi, Quercus rysophyla, Quercus canby and Arbutus xalapeus. The highest wood carbon was obtained from Jtmipeus flaccida (51.18%) while Quercus crysophyUa contained the lowest (47.98%); the component with the highest carbon concentration was the leaves of Arbutusxala peusis (55.05%), while the bark of Quercus laceyi had the lowest (43.65%) Highly significant differences were observed for the average carbon concentration by group of species. Coniferous species contained an average of 50.76% while that of broad leaf was 48.85%.

In the context of the above literatures we undertook two studies on carbon fixation of a number of trees and shrubs at Linares, Northeastern Mexico. In the context of the above literature survey, we undertook two studies on carbon fixation/carbon sequestration in two sets of plants.

9.2 STUDY 1

Gonzale Rodriguez et al. (2015a) estimated carbon fixation (sequestration) of 37 mostly trees in Linares, northeast of Mexico with the main objective to select species with carbon fixation for recommendation of plantation in carbon dioxide polluted areas.

9.2.1 MATERIALS AND METHOD

The study was located in the experiment station of Forest Science Faculty of Universidad Autonoma de Nuev Leon, at Linare (24°47'N, 99°32'W), at elevation of 350 m. The climate is subtropical or semiarid with wann summer, monthly mean air temperature varies from 14.7°C in January to 23°C in August, but during summer may rise to 45°C. The annual precipitation is 805 nun. The vegetation Tamaulipan thorn scrub soil is deep, dark gray, lime-gray, and vertisol.

9.2.2 CHEMICAL ANALYSIS

The leaves of woody and shrubs were collected during autumn, and placed to dry on newspaper for a week. The leaves are collected, separated from plants, dried in an oven at 65° for 3 days in an oven (precision model, 16eg) and passed two times through a mesh of 1 x 1 nun in diameter using a mill (Thomas Willey) and then stored in desiccator. A 2 mg of the sample weighed in an AD 600 Perkin balance Elmer was kept in Chon’s analyzer Perkin Elmer Model 2400 for estimation of carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen. For estimation of mineral contents, the samples were incinerated in a muffle oven for 5 h. Then shed sample is digested in a solution of HCL and HN03 using wet digestion (Chemey, 2000).

The carbon content (% dry weight basis) was estimated in 0.020 g of milled and dried leaf tissue using СЕГС4 analyzer (Perkin Elmer, model 2400). Carbon contents (% dry weight basis Protein content is determined by a factor Nitrogen content *6.25.

9.2.3 RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

In this study, we selected few species with high carbon fixation/carbon content in leaves such as Leitcophylhmi frutescens, 49.97%; Forestiera cmgnstifolia,

Name scientific

Family

Type

% C

o/oN

C/N

% Protein

Helietta parvifolia

Rutaceae

Shrub

31.13 ± 1.03

2.43 ±0.25

12.84 ±4.16

15.19

Amyiis texana

Rutaceae

Shrub

38.06 ± 1.89

3.72 ±0.33

12.79 ±5.65

23.25

L eucophyl him fmtescens

Scrophulariaceae

Shrub

49.97 ±0.94

2.25 ±0.27

22.17 ±3.51

14.06

Acacia rigidula

Fabaceae

Shrub

48.23 ± 1.56

2.60 ±0.22

18.58 ±6.96

16.25

Zanthoxylum fa gar a

Rutaceae

Shrub

40.35 ±3.15

2.98 ±0.90

13.56 ±3.50

18.63

Kanvinskia humboldtiana

Rliamnaceae

Shrub

31.35 ±0.70

2.84 ±0.10

11.03 ±6.91

17.75

Celtis pallida

Ulmaceae

Shrub

38.66 ±0.88

4.12 ±0.67

9.38 ± 1.32

25.75

Guaiacum angustifolium

Zygophyllaceae

Shrub

41.89 ±3.56

2.90 ±0.42

14.44 ±8.48

18.13

Acacia famesiana

Fabaceae

Shrub

46.17 ±2.63

3.41 ±0.18

13.54 ± 14.61

21.31

Lantana macropoda

Verbenaceae

Shrub

42.91 ±3.74

4.43 ±0.39

9.68 ±9.53

27.69

Bernardia myricifolia

Euphrobiaceae

Shrub

42.69 ± 1.13

4.21 ±0.49

10.13 ±2.30

26.31

Forestiera angustifolia

Oleaceae

Shrub

49.47 ± 0.43

3.00 = 0.41

16.47 ± 1.04

18.75

Croton suaveolens

Euphrobiaceae

Shrub

45.17 ±0.35

2.33 ±0.53

20.16 ±0.67

14.56

Gymnospenna glutinosum

Asteraceae

Shrub

46.19 ± 1.04

5.89 ±0.29

7.85 ±3.54

36.81

Eysenhardtia polystachya

Fabaceae

Shrub

36.26 ±0.58

4.06 ±0.27

8.94 ±2.15

25.38

Berbeiis thfolilata

Berberidaceae

Shrub

36.91 ± 1.25

2.43 ±0.19

15.17 ± 6.71

15.19

Cordia boissieh

Boraginaceae

Tree

43.43 ± 1.20

3.28 ±0.09

13.23 ± 13.38

20.50

Ehretia anacua

Boraginaceae

Tree

34.09 ±2.51

2.44 ± 0.10

13.97 ± 25.10

15.25

Caesalpinia mexicana

Fabaceae

Tree

41.12 ± 1.96

2.91 ±0.38

14.13 ± 5.16

18.19

Condalia hoockeh

Rliamnaceae

Tree

30.07 ±2.81

3.06 ±0.41

9.83 ±6.85

19.13

Sargentia gregii

Rutaceae

Tree

44.07 ± 1.22

1.91 ±0.45

23.13 ±2.71

11.94

Name scientific

Family

Type

% C

%N

C/N

% Protein

Diospyros palmeri

Ebenaceae

Tree

37.59 ± 1.72

2.17 ± 0.12

17.36 ± 14.33

13.56

Diospyros texana

Ebenaceae

Tree

40.79 ± 1.46

1.89 ±0.06

21.58 ±24.33

11.81

Bumelia celastrina

Sapotacee

Tree

49.25 ± 1.56

2.42 ±0.36

20.35 ±4.38

15.13

Ebenopsis ebano

Fabaceae

Tree

37.57 ± 1.21

3.86 ±0.20

9.73 ±6.05

24.13

Onerous polymoipha

Fabaceae

Tree

43.02 ±2.38

1.96 ± 0.18

21.95 ± 13.22

12.25

Acacia berlandien

Fabaceae

Tree

49.18 ± 1.25

3.82 ±0.14

12.88 ±8.89

23.88

Acacia shaffneri

Fabaceae

Tree

39.52 ±0.99

4.32 ±0.16

9.15 ± 6.19

27.00

Leucaena leucocephala

Fabaceae

Tree

43.16 ± 1.98

3.78 ±0.50

11.42 ±3.96

23.63

Prosopis laevigata

Fabaceae

Tree

41.64 ±0.71

3.85 ±0.21

10.83 ±3.38

24.06

Celtis laevigata

ULmaceae

Tree

39.45 ±0.51

3.01 ±0.18

13.13 ±2.78

18.81

Cercidium macrum

Fabaceae

Tree

43.41 ±3.44

4.01 ±0.30

10.83 ± 11.47

25.06

Parkinsonia aculeata

Caesalpiniaceae

Tree

36.63 ±3.25

3.04 ±0.41

12.05 ±7.93

19.00

Sali.x lasiolepis

Salicaceae

Tree

33.37 ±4.58

2.06 ±0.50

16.24 ±9.16

12.88

Harvadia pollens

Tree

43.49 ± 1.24

2.97 ±0.15

14.64 ±8.27

18.56

Acacia wrightti

Mimosaceae

Tree

36.59 ± 1.11

3.96 ± 0.18

9.25 ±6.22

24.75

Fraxinus greggii

Oleaceae

Tree

38.06 ± 1.89

2.15 ± 0.14

17.69 ± 13.85

13.44

49.47%; Acacia berlandieri, 49.18%; Bumelia celastrina, 49.25%, while the species with moderately high carbon were Acacia rigidula, 48.23 %; Acacia famesiana, 46.17%; Gymnospennum glutinosum, 46.13%; Croton suaveo- lens, 45.17%; Sargenia greggii, 44.07%. Other species contained carbon ranging from 31% to 43%.

The species with high carbon concentration are good sources of energy and growth of these species, besides sources of charcoal for the forest dwellers. The species also showed large variability in nitrogen (2-5%), C/N (7-36%) and protein contents (11-37%) representing the nutritional value for forage for animals.

STUDY 2

Carbon fixation in relation to leaf characteristics and wood density Though wood is an important source of carbon of high commercial value, the information with respect to the role of plant characteristics and carbon fixation capacity on wood quality such as density and wood structural characteristics is rare.

The present study was undertaken to determine carbon fixation, leaf canopy, leaf nutrients (% C, N, protein, C/N) with their possible relation with wood density of 18 native woody species at Linares, Mexico.

9.3.1 MATERIALS AND METHODS

We selected the following 18 species of economic importance in the region for analyzing their nutrient content and carbon fixation ability. We investigated the following aspects: Leaf nutrients (N, C/N, protein). Carbon fixation.

Leaf canopy architecture—open, semi close, close depending on the mode of exposure to solar radiation (Maiti et al., 2014). Density: We collected 10 pieces of wood of 5 cm long from the branches of the tree of each species and then dried in an oven at 80°C for 3 days, then cooled and kept in a desiccator to prevent absorption of water from the atmosphere. Then each wood species was dipped in water in a measuring cylinder for measuring the volume of the wood. The density of wood was calculated as follows:

9.3.2 RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Table 9.2 depicts leaf canopy, C %, N %, C/N, protein, and wood density of 18 species. It is observed from Table 9.1, that the leaf canopy of the species studied varies from open, semi-closed, and close. Most of the species have semi-close and open canopy leaves.

The tree canopies are classified depending on the mode of exposure to solar radiation and probable efficiency in photosynthesis. The species with open leaf canopy is expected to be more efficient in the capture of solar radiation and greater photosynthesis compared to those having semi-close and close canopy ones. In this context, the species showed variability in carbon fixation ranging from 30% to approximately 50%.

The species with high carbon fixation are Leucophyllum frutescens (49.97%), Forestiera angustifolia (49.47%), Bumelia celastrina (49.25%), Acacia berlandieri (49.18%), and Acacia farnesiana (46.17%). Interestingly all these have open leaf canopy, except Forestiera angustifolia (semi-close, shrub), which indirectly support the hypothesis by Maiti et al. (2014).

This needs to be verified with further study. Nitrogen and protein content serve in nitrogen metabolism and enzyme function thereby contributing to forage value for animal health. Nitrogen content varied approximately from 2% to 4%, while C/N varied from 8% to 22%. On the other hand, protein content varied from 11 to 26%, reasonably high value from the stand point of animal nutrition. Several species have more than 20% protein.

The species showing high value of protein content are Bernardia myricifolia (26.31%), Celtis pallida (25.75%), Eysenhardtia polvstachya (25.38%), Cercidium macrum (25.06%), Ebenopsis ebano (24.13%), Acacia berlandieri (23.38%), which are excellent sources of protein for animal health. It is expected that high carbon fixation could contribute to high accumulation of carbon in wood, thereby possibly increase of wood density. In this respect wood density varied from 0.62 to 0.95. The species showing higher values of wood density are Bernardia myricifolia (0.97), Prosopis lae’igata (0.95), Ebanopsis ebano (0.91), Eysenhardtia polvstachya (0.91), Cercidium mexicana (0.90), Kanvinskia humboldtiana (0.88), Cordia bois- sieri (0.87), Acacia berlandieri (0.87), Condalia hoockeri (0.85), and Celtis pallida (0.77).

It is interesting to note that all these species possess open to semi open leaf canopy, thereby indicating that the species with open canopy have high carbon fixation as well as high wood density.

s.

No

Scientific name

Family

Type/leaf canopy

% C

% N

C/N

o/o

Protein

Density

g/crn3

1

Diospyros texana

Ebenaceae

Tree (semi-close)

40.79 ± 1.46

1.89 ±0.06

21.58 ±24.33

11.81

0.642 ± 0.055

2

Bumelia celasthna

Sapotacee

Tree(open)

49.25 ± 1.56

2.42 ±0.36

20.35 ±4.38

15.13

0.785 ±0.078

3

Ceicidium macrum

Fabaceae

Tree(open)

43.41 ±3.44

4.01 ±0.30

10.83 ± 11.47

25.06

0.901 ±0.104

4

Prosopis laevigata

Fabaceae

Tree(open)

41.64 ±0.71

3.85 ±0.21

10.83 ±3.38

24.06

0.954 ±0.077

5

Condalia hoockeri

Rliainnaceae

Tree (semi-open)

30.07 ±2.81

3.06 ±0.41

9.83 ±6.85

19.13

0.851 ±0.143

6

Celtis laevigata

Utmaceae

Tree (close)

39.45 ±0.51

3.01 ±0.18

13.13 ±2.78

18.81

0.717 ±0.035

7

Harvadia pallens

Fabaceae

Tree(open)

43.49 ± 1.24

2.97 ±0.15

14.64 ±8.27

18.56

0.707 ±0.061

8

Ebenopsis ebano

Fabaceae

Tree (semi-close)

37.57 ± 1.21

3.86 ±0.20

9.73 ±6.05

24.13

0.910 ±0.065

9

Cordia boissieri

Boraginaceae

Tree (semi-close)

43.43 ± 1.20

3.28 ±0.09

13.23 ± 13.38

20.50

0.620 ±0.048

10

Acacia berlandieri

Fabaceae

Tree(open)

49.18 ± 1.25

3.82 ±0.14

12.88 ±8.89

23.88

0.876 ±0.063

11

Forestiera angustifoha

Oleaceae

Shrub (semi-close)

49.47 ± 0.43

3.00 ±0.41

16.47 ± 1.04

18.75

0.634 ±0.033

12

Karwinskia hum boldtiana

Rliainnaceae

Shrub (open)

31.35 ±0.70

2.84 ±0.10

11.03 ±6.91

17.75

0.885 ±0.080

13

Acacia fatvesiana

Fabaceae

Shrub (open)

46.17 ±2.63

3.41 ±0.18

13.54 ± 14.61

21.31

0.808 ±0.090

14

Leucophyllum fnitescens

Scrophulariaceae

Shrub (open)

49.97 ±0.94

2.25 ±0.27

22.17 ± 3.51

14.06

0.787 ±0.183

15

Eysenhardtia polystachya

Fabaceae

Shrub (open)

36.26 ±0.58

4.06 ±0.27

8.94 ±2.15

25.38

0.911 ±0.084

16

Beivardia myticifolia

Euphorbiaceae

Shrub (open)

42.69 ± 1.13

4.21 ±0.49

10.13 ±2.30

26.31

0.975 ± 0.092

17

Celtis pallia

Utmaceae

Shrub (open)

38.66 ±0.88

4.12 ±0.67

9.38 ± 1.32

25.75

0.777 ±0.065

18

Zanthoxylum fagara

Rutaceae

Shrub (open)

40.35 ±3.15

2.98 ±0.90

13.56 ±3.50

18.63

0.661 ±0.043

CONCLUSIONS

The study showed large variability in carbon fixation (carbon concentration), nitrogen among 37 species during Autumn, in northeast Mexico thereby giving good opportunity in the selection of species with high carbon concentration. The species with high carbon fixation with arboreal habit could be planted in polluted areas and town planning to reduce carbon dioxide load. It is desirable to select species with landscape architecture and high capacity of carbon fixation to fulfill our objectives. Further study is needed to estimate carbon fixation of these species during summer season to determine the influence of environment on carbon fixation. There is also necessity to select species with high carbon fixation and good landscape architecture. The study also demonstrates a large variability in nitrogen, C/N, and protein content among the species studied which may be used in the selection of species for high nutritive values of forage for animals.

KEYWORDS

  • carbon sequestration
  • variability in carbon sequestration
  • species with high carbon sequestration
  • contamination

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