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Carbon dioxide forecast breathes new life into forest management [Print to PDF] [Print to RTF]

Researchers from the University of Oviedo, Spain have constructed mathematical models that allow them to determine how much carbon dioxide can be absorbed by the ten most common species of trees in the Atlantic forests.

Deforestation is primarily caused by the clearing of lan...
Carbon dioxide forecast breathes new life into forest management
Researchers from the University of Oviedo, Spain have constructed mathematical models that allow them to determine how much carbon dioxide can be absorbed by the ten most common species of trees in the Atlantic forests.

Deforestation is primarily caused by the clearing of land for agricultural purposes, but drastic climactic change and increased human activity have had an adverse effect on biodiversity and surrounding habitats as well. The models created by the research team could facilitate better planning and management of worldwide forests.

The research is the result of large-scale field work conducted in the forests of Asturias and Galicia. In order to calculate how much carbon dioxide each species of tree absorbs, the team observed the environmental conditions in which the trees are found, the density of the existing forest, the regeneration that has taken place in the area and planned or applied forestry treatments.

The team, coordinated by the Research Group of Atlantic Forest Systems, found that species with quick growth such as the eucalyptus, may be used as quick solutions for cases like energy cultivation to produce biomass fast, but also act as efficient drains of CO2 in the short term. On the other hand, species with slow growth like the oak or the birch act as efficient drains of CO2 for a longer period of time, thus they are better suited to environmental conditions that are not optimal for faster-growing species.

The project partners aim to use the models to determine the next steps for managing forests in the North East of Spain. The data will be valuable for identifying the species of trees best adapted to repopulate certain areas of the mountain range.

The conclusions of the research have recently been published in the journal International Forestry Review.
Source: University of Oviedo

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Countries

  • Spain
Record Number: 36119 / Last updated on: 2013-10-01
Category: Project
Provider: EC