Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Species-Rich Forests Better Compensate Environmental Impacts

22.08.2018

To offset CO2 emissions, China is reforesting. If a mixture of tree species instead of monocultures were planted, much more carbon could be stored. An international team including UZH researchers has shown that species-rich forest ecosystems take up more CO2 from the atmosphere and store more carbon in biomass and soil, making them more effective against climate change.

Forest ecosystems are elementary for a climatic balance. Countries such as China have recognized this fact; for years, they have been conducting extensive afforestation programs to compensate their rising CO2 emissions. As part of the global carbon cycle, forests take up about 45 percent of the carbon from the environment and bind it in the soil and as biomass over long periods of time. At the same time, trees can take up or release carbon in the short term, as well.


One of 27 forest allotments in the province of Zhejiang in subtropical southeastern China.

UZH

Until now, however, there has been little research into whether the number of tree species in a forest has an influence on the carbon cycle in the ecosystem. A team of researchers from Switzerland, Germany and China has now collated comprehensive data on 27 forest allotments in the province of Zhejiang in subtropical southeastern China for a period of six years.

The researchers, including some from UZH – investigated the amount of long-term, stored carbon (C stock) and the short-term carbon exchange (C flux). The forest allotments were chosen to represent a richness gradient ranging from three to 20 tree species and an age range from 22 to 116-year-old tree stands.

Each additional species contributes 6.4 percent higher carbon stores

Previous afforestation efforts in China have already contributed considerably to reducing the increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. “However, China has limited its program to monocultures,” explains Bernhard Schmid, professor of environmental sciences at the University of Zurich. “We wanted to find out whether a mixture of tree species compensates more carbon than just a single tree species.”

The researchers discovered that species-rich forests have a faster carbon cycle than those with just a few species. With increased species richness, more carbon is stored both above and below ground in trunks, roots, deadwood, mold and soil. Estimations of the team of researchers have shown that 6.4 percent more carbon can be compensated with each additional tree species in an allotment. In addition, older trees accumulate more carbon than younger ones.

$300 million a year blown out into the atmosphere

“Projected to all of China, additional carbon at a value of $300 million a year could have been absorbed from the atmosphere from 1977 to 2008 if species-rich allotments with 10 tree species had been planted instead of monocultures,” says Bernhard Schmid.

To reduce the atmospheric CO2 impact, the researchers therefore suggest planting species-rich tree mixtures in global reforestation programs as much as possible instead of using monocultures. The goals of fighting against global warming and preventing further loss of biodiversity in forests could thus be reached at the same time.

Literature:
Xiaojuan Liu, Stefan Trogisch, Jin-Sheng He, Pascal A. Niklaus, Helge Bruelheide, Zhiyao Tang, Alexandra Erfmeier, Michael Scherer-Lorenzen, Katherina A. Pietsch, Bo Yang, Peter Kühn, Thomas Scholten, Yuanyuan Huang, Chao Wang, Michael Staab, Katrin N. Leppert, Christian Wirth, Bernhard Schmid and Keping Ma. Tree species richness increases ecosystem carbon storage in subtropical forests. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 22 August 2018, DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2018.1240

Wissenschaftliche Ansprechpartner:

Dr. Bernhard Schmid
Professor of Environmental Sciences
Department of Geography
University of Zurich
Phone +41 44 635 5205
E-mail: bernhard.schmid@uzh.ch

Originalpublikation:

Literature:
Xiaojuan Liu, Stefan Trogisch, Jin-Sheng He, Pascal A. Niklaus, Helge Bruelheide, Zhiyao Tang, Alexandra Erfmeier, Michael Scherer-Lorenzen, Katherina A. Pietsch, Bo Yang, Peter Kühn, Thomas Scholten, Yuanyuan Huang, Chao Wang, Michael Staab, Katrin N. Leppert, Christian Wirth, Bernhard Schmid and Keping Ma. Tree species richness increases ecosystem carbon storage in subtropical forests. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 22 August 2018, DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2018.1240

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.media.uzh.ch/en.html

Melanie Nyfeler | Universität Zürich

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Cereals use chemical defenses in a multifunctional manner against different herbivores
06.12.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie

nachricht Can rice filter water from ag fields?
05.12.2018 | American Society of Agronomy

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: (Re)solving the jet/cocoon riddle of a gravitational wave event

An international research team including astronomers from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has combined radio telescopes from five continents to prove the existence of a narrow stream of material, a so-called jet, emerging from the only gravitational wave event involving two neutron stars observed so far. With its high sensitivity and excellent performance, the 100-m radio telescope in Effelsberg played an important role in the observations.

In August 2017, two neutron stars were observed colliding, producing gravitational waves that were detected by the American LIGO and European Virgo detectors....

Im Focus: Light from a roll – hybrid OLED creates innovative and functional luminous surfaces

Up to now, OLEDs have been used exclusively as a novel lighting technology for use in luminaires and lamps. However, flexible organic technology can offer much more: as an active lighting surface, it can be combined with a wide variety of materials, not just to modify but to revolutionize the functionality and design of countless existing products. To exemplify this, the Fraunhofer FEP together with the company EMDE development of light GmbH will be presenting hybrid flexible OLEDs integrated into textile designs within the EU-funded project PI-SCALE for the first time at LOPEC (March 19-21, 2019 in Munich, Germany) as examples of some of the many possible applications.

The Fraunhofer FEP, a provider of research and development services in the field of organic electronics, has long been involved in the development of...

Im Focus: Regensburg physicists watch electron transfer in a single molecule

For the first time, an international team of scientists based in Regensburg, Germany, has recorded the orbitals of single molecules in different charge states in a novel type of microscopy. The research findings are published under the title “Mapping orbital changes upon electron transfer with tunneling microscopy on insulators” in the prestigious journal “Nature”.

The building blocks of matter surrounding us are atoms and molecules. The properties of that matter, however, are often not set by these building blocks...

Im Focus: University of Konstanz gains new insights into the recent development of the human immune system

Scientists at the University of Konstanz identify fierce competition between the human immune system and bacterial pathogens

Cell biologists from the University of Konstanz shed light on a recent evolutionary process in the human immune system and publish their findings in the...

Im Focus: Transformation through Light

Laser physicists have taken snapshots of carbon molecules C₆₀ showing how they transform in intense infrared light

When carbon molecules C₆₀ are exposed to an intense infrared light, they change their ball-like structure to a more elongated version. This has now been...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Global Legal Hackathon at HAW Hamburg

11.02.2019 | Event News

The world of quantum chemistry meets in Heidelberg

30.01.2019 | Event News

Our digital society in 2040

16.01.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

How the intestinal fungus Candida albicans shapes our immune system

22.02.2019 | Life Sciences

Correct antibiotic dosing could preserve lung microbial diversity in cystic fibrosis

22.02.2019 | Health and Medicine

The evolution of grain yield – Decoding the genetic basis of floret fertility in wheat

22.02.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>