Carbon sequestration in an oil palm crop system (Elaeis guineensis) in the Caribbean lowlands of Costa Rica

Humberto A. Leblanc, Ricardo O. Russo


Oil palm is currently one of the most valuable cash crops in the tropical world. Worldwide, oil palm plantations cover more than 12 million hectares. This crop system also has large areas and economic importance in Latin America. In consequence, this agroecosystem seems to be a good candidate to sequester carbon (C) in tropical countries. The amount of C in the biomass and soil component of an oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) crop system was quantified in this study. The C stored in the soil was calculated from the soil %C, bulk density, and sample depth. The C stored in the biomass was calculated from the biomass %C and the dry weight. Total carbon sequestration average of an oil palm agroecosystem (aboveground carbon biomass + soil carbon) reached 96.02 Mg·ha–1 C (soil depth, 0–30 cm) and 126.03 Mg·ha–1 C (0–50 cm), of which 22.68 Mg·ha–1 C was found in the oil palm aboveground biomass, and the remaining part in the soil. Soil was the system component that stored the higher amount of C, ≈76.4% (0–30 cm) and 82.1% (0–50 cm).

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283