"Forests Are Worth More Than Their Carbon, a New Paper Argues"

"Experts say carbon sequestration projects that don’t prioritize biodiversity may be doing more harm than good, including to the climate."

"Large-scale tree planting projects aimed at sequestering carbon are oversimplifying the many values of forests, researchers reported Tuesday.

In a peer-reviewed opinion paper published in Trends in Ecology & Evolution, University of Oxford researchers point out that, although carbon sequestration is a valuable tool for climate action, large-scale tree planting projects often lack biodiversity, which can make them ineffective climate mitigations. The authors warn against using carbon as the sole metric for a forest ecosystem’s importance and argue that carbon sequestration projects need to expand their focus to encompass ecosystem restoration and biodiversity conservation.

“I’m not saying that we are against planting trees,” co-author Jesús Aguirre-Gutiérrez, a Ph.D senior researcher at Oxford’s Environmental Change Institute said. “But it’s just one of the things that we should be doing, and these plantations of trees have to have a very strong scientific base.”"

Keerti Gopal reports for Inside Climate News October 3, 2023.

Source: Inside Climate News, 10/05/2023