International Journal of Environmental Studies | VOL. 64
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Emissions from vegetation burning in Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR), south India: a study using temporal IRS‐P6 AWiFS satellite data

Publication Date Dec 1, 2007

Abstract

Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR) is a sensitive area for wildlife, including Indian tiger and Asiatic elephant, in Kerala, southern India. Recently, forest fires in the PTR have threatened both the native vegetation as well as wildlife. In this study, we used temporal satellite remote sensing datasets corresponding to IRS‐P6 AWiFS with 56 m resolution to identify the burnt areas and thereby estimate greenhouse gas emissions resulting from biomass burning. Results from satellite derived area estimates suggested nearly 2803 ha as burnt during the dry season (February–April), of which evergreen vegetation accounted for 12.29%, mixed deciduous forests about 40.39% and grasslands 47.3%. Variations in biomass burning events were related to both climatic and anthropogenic factors. Of the different vegetation types, grasslands accounted for the highest amount of CO2 emissions compared to others. Nearly 0.0126Tg of CO2 has been released during the four‐month period from vegetation burning. Further, vegetation burning in the PTR region accounted for release of 0.00050Tg of CO, 1.81E‐05 Tg of CH4, 2.67E‐05 NOx, 3.03 E‐05 Tg NOx, 1.64E‐06Tg of N2O. Primary causes of vegetation fires in the tiger reserve have been analysed and quantitative estimates of greenhouse gas emissions from biomass burning have been provided. There is a need to provide alternative energy sources for the local people in order to ease the pressure on PTR forest resources. The results will be useful for forest managers and policy‐makers to undertake some mitigation optio...

Concepts

Periyar Tiger Reserve Vegetation Burning Estimate Greenhouse Gas Emissions Tg Of CO Biomass Burning Greenhouse Gas Emissions Tg NOx Biomass Burning Events Tiger Reserve Asiatic Elephant

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