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News

Jul 28, 2014

The Romanian government, Greenpeace and WWF have started the nomination process for the virgin beech forests of Romania to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage list. The designation process and all the procedures related to it will take approximately two years.

Jul 25, 2014

The benefits of using native species in large scale rehabilitation and restoration projects are highlighted in a new publication from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

News

Apr 29, 2014

Forests growing in nutrient-rich soils absorb more carbon, new research shows

A new study carried out by an international team of researchers and published in the journal Nature Climate Change, shows that nutrient availability in forest soils plays a crucial role in determining the efficiency of forests to sequester carbon from the atmosphere.

The research revealed that forests growing in nutrient-rich soils are able to absorb about 30% of the carbon that they take up during photosynthesis, whereas forests growing in nutrient-poor soils sequester only 6% of that carbon, returning the rest to the atmosphere as respiration.

The difference in efficiency for carbon sequestration has been explained as follows by Marcos Fernandez-Martinez, first author of the published paper and researcher at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and the Center for Ecological Research and Forestry Applications (CREAF): "In general, nutrient-poor forests spend a lot of energy — carbon — through mechanisms to acquire nutrients from the soil, whereas nutrient-rich forests can use that carbon to enhance biomass production."

Besides the amount of nitrogen available in the soil, this study also considered other factors not included in the scientific models developed so far to predict forest carbon sequestration on a global scale: phosphorus and the pH of the soil (which influences the availability of nutrients).

The full article, based on an analysis synthesising data from 92 forests in different climate zones on the planet, can be downloaded from this link:

http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate2177.html