02 Aug 2010:
Restored Forests Capture
More CO2 Than Timber Plantations
Restoring damaged rainforest is a more effective way of capturing carbon than cultivating industrial, single-species tree plantations
, according to a new study. After testing three types of plantations in northeastern Australia — monoculture plantations of native conifers, mixed plantations, and restored rainforests containing a diversity of trees — Australian researchers found that restored forests were more densely wooded than monoculture plantations, had larger trees, and captured 106 tons of CO2 per hectare, compared with 62 tons stored in timber plantations, according to the study
published in the journal Ecological Management & Restoration
. The findings come at a time when nations and companies explore ways to offset greenhouse gas emissions through preservation and restoration of tropical forests. Forestry scientists are concerned that investment dollars will be spent on single-species plantations rather than the restoration of diverse forests, said John Kanowski, an ecologist with the Australian Wildlife Conservancy. While timber plantations are a cheap source of abundant wood and rubber, some ecologists say they are little more than “green deserts” that lack biodiversity.
Yale Environment 360 is
a publication of the
Yale School of Forestry
& Environmental Studies
Yale Environment 360
articles are now available in Spanish and Portuguese on Universia
, the online educational network. Visit the site.
Business & Innovation
Policy & Politics
Pollution & Health
Science & Technology
Antarctica and the Arctic
Central & South America
A look at how acidifying oceans could threaten the Dungeness crab, one of the most valuable fisheries on the U.S. West Coast. Watch the video.
is now available for mobile devices at e360.yale.edu/mobile
An aerial view of why Europe’s per capita carbon emissions are less than 50 percent of those in the U.S. View the photos.
An indigenous tribe’s deadly fight to save its ancestral land in the Amazon rainforest from logging. Learn more.
video series looks at the staggering amount of food wasted in the U.S. – a problem with major human and environmental costs. Watch the video.
Residents of the Chocó Rainforest in Ecuador are choosing to plant cacao over logging in an effort to slow deforestation.
Watch the video.
Tribal people and ranchers join together to stop a project that would haul coal across their Montana land. Watch the video.