BIOMASS ACCUMULATION IN FORESTS WITH HIGH PRESSURE OF FUELWOOD EXTRACTION IN CHIAPAS, MEXICO

ABSTRACT Tropical forests plays a vital role in mitigating atmospheric CO2 but the retention capacity of such ecosystems has changed greatly due to increasing anthropogenic pressures, of which firewood extraction is the main one activity in rural areas. The purpose of this research was to evaluate the biomass stocks of pine and oak forests with different pressure of fuelwood extraction in Chiapas, Mexico. The study was carried out in four locations in the state of Chiapas, southern Mexico; two of them with high extraction levels and the other two with lower extraction levels. Pine and Oak forests are the predominant forest types in the region. A total of sixteen plots of 400 m2 were established to measure the biomass stocks of the trees with > 7.5 cm DBH. Published allometric equations were used to quantify the biomass stocks. The average biomass of the pine forest with low fuelwood extraction was 213.4 Mg ha-1, and that of the oak forest was 189.5 Mg ha-1. On the other hand, the biomass stocks of the pine forest with high fuelwood extraction was 138.2 Mg ha-1, and that of the oak forest was 92.0 Mg ha-1. Communities with agricultural diversification like apiculture and agroforestry practices were found more effective in forest biomass conservation when compared to those who are only dedicated to Milpa cultivation and extensive bovine livestock production. The adoption of silvopasture systems, the use of crop residues and the use of ecological cooking stoves can be the alternatives to reduce forest fuelwood extraction.