Carbon sequestration and biodiversity

Biodiverse ecosystems have the potential to provide important services to humanity. One such service involves carbon accumulation. Biodiversity may help to reduce the concentration of carbon in the atmosphere, which may help to reduce climate change. Biodiversity is important because each species has a specific function in nature. When many different species make up an ecosystem, a greater number of roles or functions emerge, and the ecosystem as a whole becomes healthier.

Plant biodiversity is greatest in tropical forests. The number of species found in a given location on the planet. The variety of living beings in a location is referred to as biodiversity. Because they capture carbon and regulate the climate, trees in tropical forests are critical to the carbon cycle. A forest, however, is made up of more than just plants. Many other forest organisms contribute significantly to the carbon cycle. For example, mammalian biodiversity influences the carbon cycle.

Forests absorb CO2 from the atmosphere and store it in various repositories known as carbon pools, which include living and dead trees, root systems, undergrowth, the forest floor, and soils. The highest carbon density is found in living trees, followed by soils and the forest floor. Carbon is also stored in harvested wood products and landfills. When a carbon pool decomposes or is burned, carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere. Carbon accumulation is typically measured as the mass of carbon contained in the body. The biodiversity of plants increases the amount of carbon captured.

Forest carbon sequestration through forest preservation has the potential to be a viable climate change mitigation strategy.

Forest management (e.g., land preservation, reduced harvest) can help to mitigate climate change and preserve biodiversity.

Land management can help to mitigate the negative effects of climate-induced ecosystem transformations on biodiversity and watersheds, which affect ecosystem services that benefit human well-being. Because the effects of land-use change vary across the globe, regional analyses are ideal for identifying priority lands for preservation and improving harvest management.

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