Carbon sequestration scenarios in Portugal: which way to go forward?

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Assessing carbon storage and sequestration is key for defining effective conservation actions to mitigate climate change. Forest species changes have direct impacts on carbon stocks and may lead to undesirable climate trade‐offs. In this paper, we measure aboveground biomass (AGB) and the impact of forest changes on climate regulation through three land policy scenarios by 2030 in continental Portugal. We found that a High intervention scenario, supported by an important increase in “Other coniferous trees” class, will provide 29.5% more of carbon sequestration, whereas a Low intervention scenario, in which there is a moderate increase in all forest classes, will result in an increase of 5.7%. A business as usual (BAU) scenario, supported by an increase in eucalyptus forests and a decrease in autochthonous species, will decrease carbon sequestration (-2.7%), particularly Lisboa, Algarve and North regions. Economic valuation shows that the High intervention scenario will generate the highest economic outcome for climate regulation by 2030. This study provides a spatial-based methodology for monitoring carbon sequestration and new insights about the impact of policies for Green House Gas (GHG) mitigation, supporting the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals achievement.

Original languageEnglish
Article number547
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalEnvironmental Monitoring and Assessment
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2021


  • Aboveground biomass
  • Climate regulation
  • Ecosystems services
  • Global change
  • InVEST model
  • Land use land cover


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