Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Reforestation projects capture more carbon than industrial plantations, new research reveals

Date:
July 31, 2010
Source:
Wiley - Blackwell
Summary:
Australian scientists researching environmental restoration projects have found that the reforestation of damaged rainforests is more efficient at capturing carbon than controversial softwood monoculture plantations. The research challenges traditional views on the efficiency of industrial monoculture plantations.

Diverse rainforest restoration project.
Credit: Dr Jonh Kanowski

Australian scientists researching environmental restoration projects have found that the reforestation of damaged rainforests is more efficient at capturing carbon than controversial softwood monoculture plantations. The research, published in Ecological Management & Restoration, challenges traditional views on the efficiency of industrial monoculture plantations.

"Carbon markets have become a potential source of funding for restoration projects as countries and corporations seek the cheapest way to reduce carbon emissions," said Dr John Kanowski from the Australian Wildlife Conservancy. "However, there is a concern that this funding will encourage single species monoculture plantations instead of diverse reforestation projects, due to the widely held belief that monocultures capture more carbon."

Softwood monoculture plantations are grown for industrial purposes and are used as a cheap and abundant source of resources such as timber and rubber. However the plantations are highly controversial, with some ecologists describing the lack of diversity as a 'green desert'.

The team sought to test the belief that monoculture plantations would capture more carbon by studying three types of projects in north-eastern Australia: monoculture plantations of native conifers, mixed species plantations and rainforest restoration projects, comprised of a diverse range of rainforest trees.

"We found that restoration planting stored significantly more carbon in above-ground biomass than the monoculture plantations of native conifers and tended to store more than mixed species timber plantations," said Kanowski. "Compared to the monoculture plantations reforestation projects were more densely stocked, there were more large trees and the trees which were used had a higher wood density then the conifers at the plantation."

These findings challenge the existing view of monoculture plantations. For example the Australian Government's National Carbon Accounting Tool Box predicts that monoculture plantations would sequester 40% more carbon then restoration plantings in northern Australia, yet this study demonstrated that carbon stocks were higher in restoration plantings then in either mixed-species plantations or monoculture plantations.

The research also suggests that restoration plantings store more carbon over time. However, as restoration projects are more expensive then monoculture plantations it is unlikely that carbon markets will favour restoration.

"In order to be an attractive prospect for the markets new reforestation techniques and designs are going to be required," concluded Kanowski. "New designs will have to ensure that restoration can provide a habitat for rainforest life and store carbon at a cost comparable to industrial monoculture."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley - Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kanowski. J, Catterall. C. Carbon stocks in above-ground biomass of monoculture plantations, mixed species plantations and environmental restoration plantings in north-east Australia. Ecological Management and Restoration, 2010; 11 (2): 119 DOI: 10.1111/j.1442-8903.2010.00529.x

Cite This Page:

Wiley - Blackwell. "Reforestation projects capture more carbon than industrial plantations, new research reveals." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100730074354.htm>.
Wiley - Blackwell. (2010, July 31). Reforestation projects capture more carbon than industrial plantations, new research reveals. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100730074354.htm
Wiley - Blackwell. "Reforestation projects capture more carbon than industrial plantations, new research reveals." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100730074354.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Operators of recreational businesses on western reservoirs worry that ongoing drought concerns will keep boaters and other visitors from flocking to the popular summer attractions. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ark. Man Finds 6-Carat Diamond At State Park

Ark. Man Finds 6-Carat Diamond At State Park

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) An Arkansas man has found a nearly 6.2-carat diamond, which he dubbed "The Limitless Diamond," at the Crater of Diamonds State Park. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest

Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) At least six Nepalese guides are dead after an avalanche swept the slopes of Mount Everest along a route used to climb the world's highest peak. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins