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Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Carbon sequestration potential of second-growth forest regeneration in the Latin American tropics
Authors: Chazdon, Robin L
Broadbent, Eben N
Rozendaal, Danae M A
Bongers, Frans
Almeyda, Zambrano Angelica Maria
Aide, T Mitchell
Balvanera, Patricia
Becknell, Justin M
Boukili, Vanessa
Brancalion, Pedro H S
Craven, Dylan J
Almeida-Cortez, Jarcilene S
Cabral, George A L
de, Jong Ben
Dent, Daisy
Contact Email:
Keywords: biodiversity
biomass accumulation
carbon mitigation
forest regeneration
forest regrowth
secondary forests
tropical forests
Issue Date: 13-May-2016
Publisher: American Association for the Advancement of Science
Citation: Chazdon RL, Broadbent EN, Rozendaal DMA, Bongers F, Almeyda Zambrano AM, Aide TM, Balvanera P, Becknell JM, Boukili V, Brancalion PHS, Craven DJ, Almeida-Cortez JS, Cabral GAL, de Jong B & Dent D (2016) Carbon sequestration potential of second-growth forest regeneration in the Latin American tropics, Science Advances, 2 (5), Art. No.: e1501639.
Abstract: Regrowth of tropical secondary forests following complete or nearly complete removal of forest vegetation actively stores carbon in aboveground biomass, partially counterbalancing carbon emissions from deforestation, forest degradation, burning of fossil fuels, and other anthropogenic sources. We estimate the age and spatial extent of lowland second-growth forests in the Latin American tropics and model their potential aboveground carbon accumulation over four decades. Our model shows that, in 2008, second-growth forests (1 to 60 years old) covered 2.4 million km2of land (28.1% of the total study area). Over 40 years, these lands can potentially accumulate a total aboveground carbon stock of 8.48 Pg C (petagrams of carbon) in aboveground biomass via low-cost natural regeneration or assisted regeneration, corresponding to a total CO2sequestration of 31.09 Pg CO2. This total is equivalent to carbon emissions from fossil fuel use and industrial processes in all of Latin America and the Caribbean from 1993 to 2014. Ten countries account for 95% of this carbon storage potential, led by Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Venezuela. We model future land-use scenarios to guide national carbon mitigation policies. Permitting natural regeneration on 40% of lowland pastures potentially stores an additional 2.0 Pg C over 40 years. Our study provides information and maps to guide national-level forest-based carbon mitigation plans on the basis of estimated rates of natural regeneration and pasture abandonment. Coupled with avoided deforestation and sustainable forest management, natural regeneration of second-growth forests provides a low-cost mechanism that yields a high carbon sequestration potential with multiple benefits for biodiversity and ecosystem services.
Type: Journal Article
DOI Link:
Rights: Copyright © 2016, The Authors This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.
Notes: Additional co-authors: Julie S. Denslow, Saara J. DeWalt, Juan M. Dupuy, Sandra M. Durán, Mario M. Espírito-Santo, María C. Fandino, Ricardo G. César, Jefferson S. Hall, José Luis Hernández-Stefanoni, Catarina C. Jakovac, André B. Junqueira, Deborah Kennard, Susan G. Letcher, Madelon Lohbeck, Miguel Martínez-Ramos, Paulo Massoca, Jorge A. Meave, Rita Mesquita, Francisco Mora, Rodrigo Muñoz, Robert Muscarella, Yule R. F. Nunes, Susana Ochoa-Gaona, Edith Orihuela-Belmonte, Marielos Peña-Claros, Eduardo A. Pérez-García, Daniel Piotto, Jennifer S. Powers, Jorge Rodríguez-Velazquez, Isabel Eunice Romero-Pérez, Jorge Ruíz, Juan G. Saldarriaga, Arturo Sanchez-Azofeifa, Naomi B. Schwartz, Marc K. Steininger, Nathan G. Swenson, Maria Uriarte, Michiel van Breugel, Hans van der Wal, Maria D. M. Veloso, Hans Vester, Ima Celia G. Vieira, Tony Vizcarra Bentos, G. Bruce Williamson, and Lourens Poorter
Affiliation: University of Connecticut
University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa)
University of Connecticut
Wageningen University
University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa)
University of Puerto Rico
Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico
Brown University
University of Connecticut
University of Sao Paulo
Yale University
Federal University of Pernambuco
Federal University of Pernambuco
El Colegio de la Frontera Sur (ECOSUR)
Biological and Environmental Sciences

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