Mountain ash forests in Australia are the best in the world at locking up carbon, a new study has found.
Environmental scientist, Brendan Mackey of the Australian National University and colleagues report their findings in today’s issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. "Currently everyone is focussed on how to reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation in developing countries," said Mackey. "But what this points to is that we can’t forget about emissions from natural forests in economically developed countries like Australia."
In the first study of its kind, Mackey and colleagues compared the amount of carbon per unit area locked up in 132 forests around the world. Forests ranged from the Amazon in the tropics to temperate moist forests, such as stands of mountain ash (Eucalyptus regnans) in Victoria’s Central Highlands.
They calculated the total biomass locked up in living and dead plant material and the soil of each forest. Mackey and colleagues found the highest amount of carbon was contained in a forest located in Victoria’s Central Highlands, which held 1900 tons of carbon per hectare.
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