Evidence type: Research
Organisations: Journal of Environmental Management, Institute of Terrestrial Ecology
Author(s): Milne, R. & Brown, T.
The total amount of carbon held by vegetation in Great Britain is estimated to be 114 Mtonnes. Woodlands and forests hold 80% of the G.B. total although they occupy only about 11% of the rural land area. Broadleaf species hold about 50% of the carbon in woodlands and forests. A map of carbon in the vegetation of Great Britain at 1 kmx1 km resolution based on land cover identified in the I.T.E. Land Cover Map is presented. The predominant location of vegetation carbon is the broadleaved woodlands of southern England. The amount of carbon in the soils of Great Britain is estimated to be 9838 Mt (6948 Mt in Scotland and 2890 Mt in England and Wales). In Scotland, most soil carbon is in blanket peats, whereas most soil carbon is in stagnogley soils in England and Wales. The carbon content of the soils of Great Britain is mapped at 1 kmx1 km resolution. Scottish peat soils have the greatest density of carbon and in total contain 4523 Mt of carbon, 46% of the G.B. total.
Although this pool is only able to change slowly, changes in land use have a major long-term effect on the carbon held in soils.
The predominant location of vegetation carbon is the broadleaved woodlands of southern England.