Navigation Links
Amazon rainforest survey could improve carbon offset schemes

Carbon offsetting initiatives could be improved with new insights into the make-up of tropical forests, a study suggests.

Scientists studying the Amazon Basin have revealed unprecedented detail of the size, age and species of trees across the region by comparing satellite maps with hundreds of field plots.

The findings will enable researchers to assess more accurately the amount of carbon each tree can store. This is a key factor in carbon offset schemes, in which trees are given a cash value according to their carbon content, and credits can be traded in exchange for preserving trees.

Existing satellite maps of the area have estimated trees' carbon content based largely on their height, but have not accounted for large regional variations in their shape and density.

Researchers from the Universities of Edinburgh and Leeds, who led the research, say their findings could help quantify the amount of carbon available to trade in areas of forest. This could help administer carbon offsetting more accurately, and improve understanding of how much carbon is stored in the world's forests, which informs climate change forecasts.

Scientists studied a database of thousands of tree species, taken from more than 400 hectare-sized plots across the nine countries of the Amazon Basin Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela. The survey was developed as part of a sister project, known as RAINFOR, involving more than 200 researchers across the region.

Their research found that forests in the basin's north-east on average stored twice as much carbon as those in the south-west, as a result of soil, climate and species variation. The north-east has slow-growing, dense-wooded species, while the south-west is dominated by light-wooded trees with faster turnover. Scientists say this highlights the need to recognise that carbon is not distributed uniformly in the forest.

The study, funded by the Natural Environment Research Council, was published in Global Ecology and Biogeography.

Dr Ed Mitchard, of the University of Edinburgh's School of GeoSciences, said: "Satellite maps of the world's forests don't contain enough information about their carbon content. Developing our understanding of this aspect of forests, in the Amazon and elsewhere, could be hugely important for our climate."

Professor Oliver Phillips from the University of Leeds' School of Geography, who co-led the study, said: "Satellites can't see species, but species really matter for carbon. This is the big challenge for the next generation of satellite and field scientists. New satellites will be launched soon that will be more sensitive to forest structure and biomass, but we must ensure we have sufficient ecological ground data to correctly interpret and use them."


Contact: Catriona Kelly
University of Edinburgh

Related biology news :

1. Drought and fire in the Amazon lead to sharp increases in forest tree mortality
2. NYBG launches Amazon Forest Program to help conserve Earths largest intact forest
3. Genes and calls reveal 5-fold greater diversity of Amazon frog species
4. Microbe community changes may reduce Amazons ability to lock up carbon dioxide
5. Turmeric Curcumin Capsules by Everpure are Now Discounted on Amazon
6. Can (and Should) Retail/Wi-Fi Analytics Help Retailers Survive in the Age of Amazon?
7. Amazon rainforest more able to withstand drought than previously thought
8. Study of Brazilian Amazon shows 50,000 km of road was built in just 3 years
9. Baylor, DNAnexus, Amazon Web Services collaboration enables largest-ever cloud-based analysis of genomic data
10. Risk of Amazon rainforest dieback is higher than IPCC projects
11. Field Museum scientists estimate 16,000 tree species in the Amazon
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/2/2015)... 2015  SRI International has been awarded a contract ... services to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) PREVENT Cancer ... expertise, modern testing and support facilities, and analytical instrumentation ... toxicology studies to evaluate potential cancer prevention drugs. ... Cancer Drug Development Program is an NCI-supported pipeline to ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... Va. , Oct. 29, 2015 Daon, ... today that it has released a new version of ... customers in North America have ... IdentityX v4.0 also includes a FIDO UAF certified ... are already preparing to activate FIDO features. These customers ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... 29, 2015 NXTD ) ... focused on the growing mobile commerce market and ... StackCommerce, a leading marketplace to discover and buy ... smart wallet on StackSocial for this holiday season. ... the "Company"), a biometric authentication company focused on ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... Biobanking Market 2016 - 2020 report analyzes that ... integrity and quality in long-term samples, minimizing manual ... cost-effectiveness. Automation minimizes manual errors such as mislabeling ... efficiency. Further, it plays a vital role in ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ANGELES and HOLLISTON, Mass. ... Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq: HART ), a biotechnology company ... that CEO Jim McGorry will present at ... December 1, 2015 at 2:30 p.m. PT. The presentation ... below) for 30 days. Management will also be available ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... DIEGO , Nov. 25, 2015 Orexigen® ... management will participate in a fireside chat discussion at ... New York . The discussion is scheduled ... .  A replay will be ... Media Contact:McDavid Stilwell  , Julie NormartVP, Corporate Communications ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , ... November 24, 2015 , ... The United States ... of the 2016 USGA Green Section Award. Presented annually since 1961, the USGA Green ... or her work with turfgrass. , Clarke, of Iselin, N.J., is an ...
Breaking Biology Technology: