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Reforestation study shows trade-offs between water, carbon and timber

mong other things, and these should be weighed against any water losses," said Perrings.

According to their study, water losses from "natural" forest regeneration would be compensated by the value of carbon sequestration in 59.6 percent of the converted area at current carbon prices. On the other hand, reforestation of existing grassland with teak (under sustainable forest management) would generate gains sufficient to offset the hydrological losses in all converted areas, regardless of the value of carbon.

The authors note that their study does not consider the value of land cover as habitat for wild fauna and flora. However, they say their results could help canal planners prioritize reforestation efforts. Knowing what to plant and where can reduce the negative impact of forests on dry season water flows, while providing other important ecosystem services.


Contact: Margaret Coulombe
Arizona State University

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