Tree Frog Forestry News

Understanding why trees are dying may be key to locking up carbon

By Gareth Willmer
Horizon – The EU Research & Innovation Magazine
July 24, 2020
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Rising tree deaths may be reducing the ability of many forests worldwide to lock up carbon by pulling in greenhouse gases from the air. …scientists need to solve the puzzle of why trees are dying – and how they respond to change. …widespread observations of increasing tree mortality due to changing climate and land use… appears to be transforming woodland habitats, with trees getting younger and shorter in many forests. Estimates suggest that forests have absorbed up to 30% of anthropogenic carbon emissions in the past few decades. Though the overall effects of tree loss on the carbon cycle are complex because old trees and the young ones that replace them take up carbon at different rates, rising mortality appears to be affecting forests’ ability to lock up carbon. The researchers think that higher mortality rates may begin to outweigh the capacity of remaining and new trees to maintain that uptake at the same level…

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