Dharma Sapkota, PhD

Research

Tropical forests contain most of the globe’s biodiversity, with estimated to support two-third of the world’s species despite only covering 7% of the land surface. These forests are also key for carbon storage, with estimates of 50 % contains in their aboveground biomass. Despite these key roles, tropical forest is being lost and degraded at a higher rate than any other forest types. Tropical forests are consequently the epicentre of current and future extinctions due to the anthropogenic activities. This loss contributes to 10% of global CO2 emissions and such emission is gradually turning tropical forests from a carbon sink to a carbon source. 

Fire is considered as the primary drivers of forest loss and degradation. About 350 Mha of forest is burned every year which accounts for the 1.8 to 3.0 Pg of carbon emission. Although the impacts of forest fires on biodiversity and are emissions are recognised by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES, 2019), the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) and the UNFCC REDD+ program; these impacts are, however, complex and incompletely understood. 

My PhD research is focused on assessing the nexus between fire, plant biodiversity and aboveground carbon.  I am going to carry out a global study on the impact of fire on taxonomic diversity (richness and turnover), followed by functional and phylogenetic diversity. Further, I will also carry out another analysis on the impact of fire on above ground carbon stock and emissions. Finally, I will combine and compare the results of impact on biodiversity and carbon stock and assess the relationship between fire, biodiversity and carbon emission.

About Me
I love reading books. I also love to listen to music and watch comedy shows and action movies. In my spare time, I write stories. Three of my storybooks have already been published in Nepalese language