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Study: High Tree Diversity, Carbon Storage and Old Growth Not as Linked as Thought
March 14, 2017
Conservationists working to safeguard tropical forests often assume that old growth forests containing great stores of carbon also hold high biodiversity, but a new study finds that the relationship may not be as strong as once thought, according to a group of researchers with contributions from WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) and other organizations.
Tropical forests are exceptionally rich in both carbon and biodiversity, but the study recently published in the journal Scientific Reports indicates that, within the tropics, tree diversity and forest carbon do not necessarily correlate, and that there is no detectable relationship between the two factors across a region, a scale relevant for conservation planning and the establishment of protected areas.
For instance, in Central Africa, some areas that are dominated by one or a few tree species are high in carbon density, whereas some forests with many more tree species have a lower carbon density.