The Potential for Carbon Sequestration Through Reforestation of Abandoned Tropical Agricultural and Pasture Lands
This article reviews the field of carbon accumulation in tropical secondary forests to shed light on the ability of reforestation to encourage carbon sequestration.
Conclusions & Takeaways
The authors find that: 1) Previous land use has an important role in the rate of C sequestration. Above-ground biomass accumulation is higher in areas that have low degradation and relatively high fertility (especially on some areas of fertilized agriculture). Meanwhile, below-ground accumulation was higher in pasture where the pasture grasses and the compaction of pasture use can help improve soil carbon storage and slow the loss of C from the soil. 2) Dry forests accumulate soil C at a faster rate than wet or moist forests. This is dependent on the root biomass not being harmed by the land use. 3) accumulation is continuous for at least 80 years of age of a regenerating forest, however the rates can change by life zone and age. 4) the rate of C accumulation decreases over time, especially for above-ground biomass. Therefore, short term measurements of storage may show higher values than measurements taken over the life of the forest. 5) Biomass allocation is species and community specific. Grasses and some species store more below-ground carbon. while most plantation species store more above-ground carbon. These dynamics should be considered when designing reforestation projects for carbon storage. The authors assert that reforestation efforts can be justified for carbon offsets, however, detailed consideration of the environment, measurement of carbon, both above and below-ground carbon, and long term rates of sequestration need to be considered in the plans.
The Potential for Carbon Sequestration Through Reforestation of Abandoned Tropical Agricultural and Pasture Lands. Restoration Ecology. 2000;8:394–407. doi:10.1046/j.1526-100x.2000.80054.x..
- Ecosystem Sciences Division, Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California, Berkeley, CA, U.S.A.
- International Institute of Tropical Forestry, USDA Forest Service, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico