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

orests 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."


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

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