Degraded tropical rain forests possess valuable carbon storage opportunities in a complex, forested landscape

Alamgir, Mohammed, Campbell, Mason J., Turton, Stephen M., Pert, Petina L., Edwards, Will, and Laurance, William F. (2016) Degraded tropical rain forests possess valuable carbon storage opportunities in a complex, forested landscape. Scientific Reports, 6. 30012. pp. 1-10.

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Abstract

Tropical forests are major contributors to the terrestrial global carbon pool, but this pool is being reduced via deforestation and forest degradation. Relatively few studies have assessed carbon storage in degraded tropical forests. We sampled 37,000 m² of intact rainforest, degraded rainforest and sclerophyll forest across the greater Wet Tropics bioregion of northeast Australia. We compared aboveground biomass and carbon storage of the three forest types, and the effects of forest structural attributes and environmental factors that influence carbon storage. Some degraded forests were found to store much less aboveground carbon than intact rainforests, whereas others sites had similar carbon storage to primary forest. Sclerophyll forests had lower carbon storage, comparable to the most heavily degraded rainforests. Our findings indicate that under certain situations, degraded forest may store as much carbon as intact rainforests. Strategic rehabilitation of degraded forests could enhance regional carbon storage and have positive benefits for tropical biodiversity.

Item ID: 44756
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2045-2322
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Grant, Skyrail Rainforest Foundation (SRF), Wet Tropics Management Authority (WTMA), Cowan Grant Trust (CGT), James Cook University (JCU) Graduate Research Scheme (GRS)
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2016 22:19
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050104 Landscape Ecology @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050101 Ecological Impacts of Climate Change @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960505 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Forest and Woodlands Environments @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960806 Forest and Woodlands Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 50%
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