Data for 'Carbon sequestration and vegetation properties across the age of community managed exclosures in Northern Ethiopia'
Exclosures are becoming the common approaches used to rehabilitate and increase the net biomass productivity of the extremely degraded areas. However, its effect across the age of exclusion on vegetation and soil properties is not yet predictable on the communal lands of Northern Ethiopia.This data are collected to investigate the effect of land exclusion and age of exclosures on vegetation and soil properties. To do so, we selected three age of exclosures (5 to 7, 12 to 15 and >20 years) and adjacent free grazing areas. Each age of exclosure was replicated three times with agroecological similarity in consideration. From each exclosure and free grazing areas, six larger plots (10 m x 20 m), which a total of 72 larger plots were sampled. Five small quadrats of 1 m x 1 m (a total of 360) were nested within each larger plot. The data are herbaceous species richness, herbaceous species diversity, herbaceous species dominance, herbaceous species evenness, herbaceous composition, herbaceous density, woody species richness woody species diversity, woody species evenness, woody density, herbaceous aboveground biomass, woody aboveground , woody below ground biomass, aboveground biomass carbon, below ground biomass carbon, soil organic carbon stock, total nitrogen, total potassium, CEC, EC, PH, balk density. Our result indicates that species richness, diversity, biomass, biomass carbon, SOC, total nitrogen (TN) and total potassium (TK) were significantly (p<0.05) increased due to exclusion of communal lands. Density of perennial species, density of grass species, woody species richness, diversity and density, woody biomass, biomass carbon, SOC, TN and TK were significantly (p<0.05) increased with the age of exclosures, whereas herbaceous species richness and diversity, and annual species density were higher in the young-aged exclosures than in the other older exclosures. The higher value of vegetation and soil properties in the older exclosures is due to improved soil fertility, reduced erosion, and moisture conservation. The decreased herbaceous species richness and diversity with age of exclosures is due to the woody density and canopy, and domination by few perennial grasses. The old exclosures stored 267% and 37.66% more biomass carbon and SOC than the young-aged exclosures, respectively. This study is important to conclude on the benefit of land exclosure for permanent carbon storage, which is vital to reduce greenhouse gas. The reduced herbaceous biomass, richness, and diversity in the old exclosures may need to look into light grazing when the age of exclosures reach its herbaceous climax productivity. Alternative feed resource for community livestock and carbon credit payment may need for the community when permanent exclosure is targeted for carbon stock. This may assure the willingness of the community for sustainable protection of the exclosures.