Navigation Links
Carbon storage recovers faster than plant biodiversity in re-growing tropical forests
Date:11/5/2013

A new study of re-growing tropical forests has concluded that plant biodiversity takes longer to recover than carbon storage following major disturbances such as clearance for farming.

The findings, published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, have important implications for conservation since there are now many re-growing forests in South and Central America. The new study is the first large-scale analysis of the recovery of both plant biodiversity and carbon pools in re-growing forests.

Over half of all tropical forests have already been converted for agriculture, logged or burnt in the recent past. Re-growing forests could help both to soak up carbon emissions produced by human activities and to reduce species' extinctions.

The scientists, from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and Bournemouth University, concluded that although carbon recovered most quickly, even after 80 years re-growing forests tended to have less carbon than old-growth forests. This is probably because these forests are often dominated by small, fast growing trees. It may take centuries for larger trees which hold more carbon to become established.

In contrast, although the number of tree species recovered relatively rapidly, many species characteristic of old-growth forests were rare in re-growing forests. This is worrying because these species are probably those most vulnerable to extinction.

The research team conducted a synthesis of data collected from more than 600 secondary forest sites from 74 previous studies, describing carbon pools and plant biodiversity. Each site had comparable data for a nearby site that was relatively free of human disturbance.

Lead author Phil Martin, a PhD student at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, said, "We think plant species normally found in old-growth forests are failing to colonise re-growing forests because their seeds never get there. These recovering forests are often far from old-growth forests and surrounded by farmland. This means forest animals cannot move seeds between the two forests."

Phil Martin added, "We suggest that when conservationists aim to restore tropical forests they should help dispersal of seeds from undisturbed to re-growing areas by planting trees throughout the wider landscape."

In the study the researchers point out that these results show that forests that are re-growing following agricultural use may be more valuable for the carbon they store than for their biodiversity for the first 100 years. Policies such as Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) often assume that carbon and biodiversity are interchangeable. This work shows this is not the case.

Co-author Professor James Bullock from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology said, "Our results clearly indicate that preservation of old-growth forests is vital for the conservation of specialist species. While the re-growth of forests following clearance is valuable in soaking up carbon, the biodiversity benefits will take a very long time to emerge."


'/>"/>

Contact: Barnaby Smith
bpgs@ceh.ac.uk
44-079-202-95384
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in smokeless tobacco products
2. U.Va. researcher: Methane out, carbon dioxide in?
3. Carbonation alters the minds perception of sweetness
4. Carbon farming schemes should consider multiple cobenefits
5. Extreme weather, climate and the carbon cycle
6. Soil carbon blowing in the wind
7. Tropical ecosystems regulate variations in Earths carbon dioxide levels
8. New study shows predators affect the carbon cycle
9. Elevated carbon dioxide making arid regions greener
10. Forest and soil carbon is important but does not offset fossil fuel emissions
11. Fast-sinking jellyfish could boost the oceans uptake of carbon dioxide
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Carbon storage recovers faster than plant biodiversity in re-growing tropical forests
(Date:6/22/2016)... , June 22, 2016   Acuant ... and verification solutions, has partnered with RightCrowd ... solutions for Visitor Management, Self-Service Kiosks and ... products that add functional enhancements to existing ... corporations and venues with an automated ID ...
(Date:6/16/2016)... 16, 2016 The global ... to reach USD 1.83 billion by 2024, according ... Inc. Technological proliferation and increasing demand in commercial ... to drive the market growth.      ... The development of advanced multimodal techniques for biometric ...
(Date:6/7/2016)...  Syngrafii Inc. and San Antonio Credit Union ... integrating Syngrafii,s patented LongPen™ eSignature "Wet" solution into ... result in greater convenience for SACU members and ... existing document workflow and compliance requirements. ... Highlights: ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... June 27, 2016  Sequenom, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... healthier lives through the development of innovative products and ... the United States denied its petition ... claims of Sequenom,s U.S. Patent No. 6,258,540 (",540 Patent") ... established by the Supreme Court,s Mayo Collaborative Services v. ...
(Date:6/27/2016)...  Liquid Biotech USA , ... Sponsored Research Agreement with The University of Pennsylvania ... cancer patients.  The funding will be used to ... clinical outcomes in cancer patients undergoing a variety ... employed to support the design of a therapeutic, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... Researchers at the Universita Politecnica delle Marche in Ancona ... or pleural mesothelioma. Their findings are the subject of a new article on the ... are signposts in the blood, lung fluid or tissue of mesothelioma patients that can ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... A person commits a crime, and the detective ... the criminal down. An outbreak of foodborne illness ... (FDA) uses DNA evidence to track down the bacteria that ... It,s not. The FDA has increasingly used a complex, cutting-edge ... illnesses. Put as simply as possible, whole genome sequencing is ...
Breaking Biology Technology: