High-resolution carbon mapping on the million-hectare Island of Hawaii

Gregory P. Asner, R. Flint Hughes, Joseph Mascaro, Amanda L. Uowolo, David E. Knapp, James Jacobson, Ty Kennedy-Bowdoin, John K. Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


Current markets and international agreements for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) rely on carbon (C) monitoring techniques. Combining field measurements, airborne light detection and ranging (LiDAR)-based observations, and satellite-based imagery, we developed a 30-meter-resolution map of aboveground C density spanning 40 vegetation types found on the million-hectare Island of Hawaii. We estimate a total of 28.3 teragrams of C sequestered in aboveground woody vegetation on the island, which is 56% lower than Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that do not resolve C variation at fine spatial scales. The approach reveals fundamental ecological controls over C storage, including climate, introduced species, and land-use change, and provides a fourfold decrease in regional costs of C measurement over field sampling alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)434-439
Number of pages6
JournalFrontiers in Ecology and the Environment
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology


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