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SPECIES-RICH FORESTS OFFER STABLE CARBON CAPTURE

Why in news?

Spending over six months conducting surveys inside Anamalai Tiger Reserve and using satellite data from multiple locations in the Western Ghats, an international team of researchers has shown that carbon storage was highest in species-rich evergreen forest.

What is found in study?

  • The results showed that the species-rich evergreen forests stored carbon at approximately 300 tons per hectare.
  • The storage in teak and eucalyptus plantations was 43% and 55% less, respectively.
  • The researchers also found that the rates of carbon capture remained nearly the same year after year in natural forests compared with plantations.
  • This study can help transform reforestation policies.
  • Protecting and regenerating natural forests comprising a diverse mix of native tree species is more reliable in the long term than raising monoculture or species-poor plantations as a strategy for mitigating climate change.
  • Species-rich forests are beneficial for biodiversity as they also provide habitat to many other components — insects, birds, etc. Previous studies have shown that species-rich forests are also resistant to diseases.
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June 2022
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