‘Reforestation better than industrial plantations’

Reforestation of damaged forests captures more carbon than softwood monoculture plantations.

Washington: Reforestation of damaged forests captures more carbon than controversial softwood monoculture plantations, says new research.

The new find by Australian scientists challenges traditional views on the efficiency of industrial monoculture plantations.

Dr John Kanowski from the Australian Wildlife Conservancy said that reforestation could drive biodiversity unlike single species monoculture plantations.

"We found that restoration planting stored significantly more carbon in above-ground biomass than the monoculture plantations of native conifers and tended to store more than mixed species timber plantations," said Kanowski.

"Compared to the monoculture plantations reforestation projects were more densely stocked, there were more large trees and the trees which were used had a higher wood density then the conifers at the plantation," he added.

However, restoration projects are more expensive then monoculture plantations.

"New designs will have to ensure that restoration can provide a habitat for rainforest life and store carbon at a cost comparable to industrial monoculture," concluded Kanowski.

The research is published in Ecological Management & Restoration.


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