Climate Change

Secondary forests offer big opportunity to fight global warming

Friday, February 12, 2016

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New research shows that some regenerating forests might have an even higher rate of carbon uptake than previously thought, which can help identify the most important conservation priorities.

  • Over half of the world’s tropical forests are not old-growth but naturally regenerating forests, and a large part of that is secondary forest.
  • An international team analyzed the recovery of above-ground biomass in 1,500 forest plots at 45 sites across Latin America and found that carbon uptake is surprisingly fast in these young, regrowing forests.
  • After 20 years, secondary forests recovered 122 tons of biomass per hectare (about 2.5 acres) on average.