The project is a cooperation between the University of Energy and Natural Resources in Sunyani, Ghana and the Global Change Research Institute, Czech Academy of Sciences, The Czech Republic. Several studies concerning greenhouse gases (mainly CO2) over the last 15 years have shown missing information in the determination of CO2 in the land-atmosphere system in Africa. As such, the fundamental aims of this project is to monitor, understand, quantify and model CO2 exchange between tropical forest ecosystem and the atmosphere in order to estimate the total Carbon balance, to understand the regional variability of this greenhouse gas, and to assess the carbon sequestration capacity of these ecosystems. The results of the project will improve our knowledge and understanding of CO2 exchange and their interaction at a regional scale. The project will also bring new data for model application at a regional and international scale and also for the management of world environmental policy integration. To achieve the goals of the project a combination of different techniques and multidisciplinary approaches will be applied.
The establishment and setup of a new eddy covariance tower have been carefully investigated to ensure flux measurements are of high quality. The Carbon Tower will be cited at Bia Tano forest reserve at Gambia Number 1 in Mim under the Goaso forestry division. The design will take into consideration the ecosystem type, power availability, permissions and infrastructural limitations or e.g. accessibility. The eddy covariance tower, which will carry the eddy covariance system and instruments to measure micrometeorological parameters will be erected at the desired location. The requirements for the site location were based on the homogeneous canopy with no gaps, flat terrain and no sources of anthropogenic CO2. The system consists of a 3-dimensional ultrasonic anemometer Gill HS-50 (Gill Instruments) and an enclosed CO2/H2O analyser LI-7200 (Li-Cor, USA). The system will employ software (Smart Flux, Li-Cor, USA) to calculate the preliminary surface fluxes of energy and substances and display them in real time. Final results will be obtained by careful processing (EddyPro software, Li-Cor, USA) according to the latest international standards. Data will be collected on a continuous basis throughout the whole year. Basic meteorological parameters will be measured continuously above the tropical forest canopy and within the vertical profile at the site. Air temperature and humidity will also be measured using sensor EMS33R (EMS Brno) at 10 heights in order to obtain sensible and latent heat storage flux. A similar profile of CO2 concentration measurements with infrared gas analyzer LI-840A (Li-Cor, USA) will allow estimating CO2 storage flux. Incoming photosynthetically active (PAR) and global (GR) radiation will be measured above the canopy using EMS12 (EMS Brno) and net radiometer CNR1 (Kipp-Zonen, the Netherlands), respectively. Net radiometer CNR1 also provides information about the available energy within the study site. The amount of precipitation will be recorded continuously above the canopy with an automatic rainfall gauge 386C (Met One, USA).
Role of Partners
The project is a cooperation between the University of Energy and Natural Resources in Sunyani, Ghana and the Global Change Research Institute, Czech Academy of Sciences, The Czech Republic. The Research will be conducted at Mendel University and the Global Change Research Institute of the Czech Republic in collaboration with the Centre. Two PhD candidates will work with the data from the flux network in Ghana (Carbon Tower) and Czech (history of measurement: 3-10 years), using eddy-covariance and meteorological data from the tower, inventarization data, chamber measurements and remote sensing data. The data will be evaluated within one site and an inter-site comparison will be performed, using the data from the FLUXNET database. The results of the project will improve our knowledge and understanding of monitoring CO2 exchange between tropical forest ecosystem and the atmosphere and their interaction at a regional scale. This will be shared through conferences, workshops and seminars to be organized and also shared with the Ministry, to impact governmental decision-making or policies on climate change and environmental protection.
Nature of Project Support
(i) Generation of Electricity for Carbon Tower
This involves the transmission of electricity from NEDCO/VRA Main Plant Source in Sunyani to the site in Bia Tano Forest, which is about 150km off the main road at Gambia Number 1 in the Mim Forest reserve.
(ii) Internet Connection
Data is to be transmitted via a wireless internet connection (cellular-based, solar-powered unit to send remote station data to the receiver in Sunyani).
(iii) Financial Support for Technical Staff
This involves the payment of services in maintaining the Carbon Tower and keeping the surroundings clean from weeds. This will also involve the payment of securing the ground for about 10 years, for the smooth running of the project from the Forestry Commission of Ghana. Financial support will also be required to buy fuel for transportation from the Sunyani Campus of the University to the Mim Forest reserve for data collection/measurements and workshops to be organized in course of the project.
(iv) Information Exchange and Experience Sharing
This will include meetings/workshops and other means of information exchange and interaction to share results or findings from this research with the scientific community on both national and international platforms. Publications on the results will be published in scientific journals for greater impact.
(v) Awareness and Training
Awareness and training on specific innovative technologies/packages developed through these studies. There will also be other capacity-building seminars for staff from the Ministry and other governmental agencies.