Wetlands as a Carbon Sink: Insight into the Himalayan Region

  • Awais Iqbal
  • Zhanhuan ShangEmail author


The Hindu-Kush Himalaya region’s land cover is comprised of 54% rangeland, 25% agricultural land, 14% forest, 5% permanent snow and 1% water bodies. The Himalayans contain some of the largest water reservoirs, which are critical for HKH countries. Amidst these, wetlands have remained important to ecosystem services and the overall water cycle of the basins. Beside their cultural and provisioning amenities, wetlands are important carbon reservoirs, accounting for 20–30% of the global carbon pool. They act as a sink for atmospheric carbon, thus can influence GHG emissions, especially CH4, and, thus, should be managed properly. However, substantial data gaps remain in quantifying carbon sequestration and the potential of CH4 emission. Furthermore, studies on CH4 fluxes in high-altitude wetlands, particularly in remote areas, remain inconclusive. Hence, more research is required to understand the role of wetlands in term of GHG emissions and carbon sequestration.


Wetland Methane Hindu-Kush Himalaya Carbon sink 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Life Sciences, State Key Laboratory of Grassland Agro-EcosystemsLanzhou UniversityLanzhouChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Restoration Ecology of Cold Area in Qinghai ProvinceNorthwest Institute of Plateau Biology, Chinese Academy of SciencesLanzhouChina

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