Benefits of tree mixes in carbon plantings

Hulvey, Kristin B., Hobbs, Richard J., Standish, Rachel J., Lindenmayer, David B., Lach, Lori, and Perring, Michael P. (2013) Benefits of tree mixes in carbon plantings. Nature Climate Change, 3. pp. 869-874.

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Abstract

Increasingly governments and the private sector are using planted forests to offset carbon emissions. Few studies, however, examine how tree diversity — defined here as species richness and/or stand composition — affects carbon storage in these plantings. Using aboveground tree biomass as a proxy for carbon storage, we used meta-analysis to compare carbon storage in tree mixtures with monoculture plantings. Tree mixes stored at least as much carbon as monocultures consisting of the mixture's most productive species and at times outperformed monoculture plantings. In mixed-species stands, individual species, and in particular nitrogen-fixing trees, increased stand biomass. Further motivations for incorporating tree richness into planted forests include the contribution of diversity to total forest carbon-pool development, carbon-pool stability and the provision of extra ecosystem services. Our findings suggest a two-pronged strategy for designing carbon plantings including: (1) increased tree species richness; and (2) the addition of species that contribute to carbon storage and other target functions.

Item ID: 30839
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
ISSN: 1758-6798
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions, National Environmental Research Program Environmental Decisions Research Hub
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2014 07:23
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050102 Ecosystem Function @ 45%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 10%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0705 Forestry Sciences > 070502 Forestry Biomass and Bioproducts @ 45%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960302 Climate Change Mitigation Strategies @ 100%
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