Monday, 10 April 2017

Forest fragmentation may be releasing much more carbon than we think

Source: "Forest fragmentation may be releasing much more carbon than we think", Mongabay, 31st March, by Morgan Erickson-Davis

Morgan Erickson-Davis reported, "A new study dramatically adds to current estimates of carbon emissions from tropical deforestation.

  • Many tropical forests around the world have been severely fragmented as human disturbance split once-contiguous forests into pieces. Previous research indicates trees on the edges of these fragments have higher mortality rates than trees growing in the interiors of forests. 
  • Researchers used satellite data and analysis software they developed to figure out how many forest fragments there are, and the extent of their edges. They discovered that there are around 50 million tropical forest fragments in the world today; their edges add up to about 50 million kilometers – about a third of the way from the earth to the sun. 
  • When they calculated how much carbon is being released from tree death at these edges, they found a 31 percent increase from current tropical deforestation estimates. (...)"

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