Reforestation Projects Better Than Monoculture Tree Plantations for Capturing & Storing Carbon

reforestation project australia photo

photo courtesy Dr John Kanowski

Australian scientists studying the amount of carbon stored in monoculture tree plantations and reforested areas of damaged rainforests have found that, though reforestation is more expensive than establishing a plantation it is more efficient for capturing carbon. The research, published in Ecological Management & Restoration, supports the assertion that though they may look like forests, industrial tree plantations are far from the real thing.The team of researchers examined three types of projects in northeast Australia: Monoculture plantations of native conifers, mixed-species tree plantations, and rainforest restoration projects composed of a diverse mix of trees.

Dr John Kanowski of the Australian Wildlife Conservancy:

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. 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 than the conifers in the plantation. (Science Daily)

These finding run counter to official Australian figures for the about of carbon stored in commercial timber plantations. Government figures assume monoculture tree plantations in northern Australia to store 40% more carbon than reforestation projects.

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More on Geoengineering:
Reforestation & Biochar: Two Geoengineering Methods That Won't Cause More Harm Than Good Reforestation Project Takes Major Step in Reducing Global Warming
Peru to Plant 40 Million Trees in Reforestation Campaign

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