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Kaziranga National Park

Context:

Recently a research published, which showed that Kaziranga National Park in Assam, is releasing more carbon than it is absorbing.

  • It also showed that as the planet warms further, the ability of the Kaziranga National Park (KNP) to absorb carbon would further decrease.
  • Researchers found that Kaziranga absorbed the most amount of carbon dioxide during the pre-monsoon season of March, April and May.
Relevance:

GS III- Environment and Ecology

Dimensions of the article:
  1. How is Kaziranga National Park a Net Carbon Emitter?
  2. Kaziranga National Park

How is Kaziranga National Park a Net Carbon Emitter?

  • Unique soil: The soil of the region is home to a large population of bacteria that release carbon dioxide as they breathe, which adds to the carbon dioxide being emanated by other organisms, including trees.
  • Decrease in Photosynthetic Activity: The photosynthetic activity of trees during the monsoon decreases due to increased cloud cover. Hence, the ability of the forest to absorb carbon dioxide also decreases.
    • The situation remains the same during the post-monsoon and winter months, making the forest a net carbon emitter.
  • Less rainfall from transpired water:
    • The scientists analyzed the isotopes in the transpired water and observed a strong link between the water and carbon cycles of the forest.
    • There is a decreasing trend in the rainfall coming from the transpired water in the pre-monsoon months which are responsible for the highest carbon absorption.
    • Transpiration is a process that involves loss of water vapour through the stomata of plants.
    • Stomatal openings are necessary to admit carbon dioxide to the leaf interior and to allow oxygen to escape during photosynthesis.

Kaziranga National Park

  • Kaziranga National Park is a national park in the Golaghat, Karbi Anglong and Nagaon districts of the state of Assam.
  • It is a World Heritage Site and hosts two-thirds of the world’s great one-horned rhinoceroses.
  • Kaziranga is recognized as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International for conservation of avifaunal species.
  • Along with the iconic Greater one-horned rhinoceros, the park is the breeding ground of elephants, wild water buffalo, and swamp deer.
  • Over the time, the tiger population has also increased in Kaziranga, and that’s the reason why Kaziranga was declared as Tiger Reserve in 2006.
  • Due to the difference in altitude between the eastern and western areas of the park, here one can see mainly four types of vegetation’ like alluvial inundated grasslands, alluvial savanna woodlands, tropical moist mixed deciduous forests, and tropical semi-evergreen forests.
  • Kaziranga is a vast expanse of tall elephant grass, marshland, and dense tropical moist broadleaf forests, criss-crossed by four major rivers, including the Brahmaputra, and the park includes numerous small bodies of water.
  • Kaziranga has flat expanses of fertile, alluvial soil, formed by erosion and silt deposition by the River Brahmaputra.
  • The history of Kaziranga as a protected area can be traced back to 1904 when the wife of the Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon visited the area and persuaded to take measures to protect rhinoceros in the area.

-Source: Down to Earth


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