A new research finds that forests that are sustainably logged are able to recover within twenty to thirty years.
Each year, forests suffer significant losses because of unsustainable forestry practices, which also have destructive effects on climate change.
According to a study published in Current Biology, forests that are exposed to excessive logging take up to 100 years to recover. Researchers say that new logging techniques that have little impact on forests, may help them recover their biomass, especially carbon stocks, in seven to twenty one years.
“Over the last decade we’ve been focusing on primary forests. Logged forests or managed forests have received little attention. Those forests can play a role and can help with carbon sequestration. They should be preserved as well,” stated Dr. Ervan Rutishauser, founder of CARBOFOR-EXPERT, an independent company in Switzerland.
Dr. Rutishauser says that the logging practices will not ruin the carbon stock in the Amazonian forests, if used with more attention. Some experts used to believe that logging deteriorated a forest so much that it would have not been able to recover afterwards, but Rutishauser stated that was not true.
Some easy reduced-impact logging techniques could be: choosing which trees are the most commercially valuable, and then making a logging road that minimizes the damage; making sure that falling timber does not pull down other trees; clarifying which trees are for harvest; etc.
As they grow, trees absorb carbon dioxide, which then remains trapped in the leaves, trunks, branches, and roots. When a tree dies, most of the carbon dioxide that was trapped inside them is released back into the atmosphere.
That is one of the reasons why deforestation is so damaging to our climate. Each year, deforestation accounts for a 10 percent increase in carbon dioxide, scientists say.
The Union of Concerned Scientists say that each acre (4046 m2) of the Amazon Rainforest contains about 40 tons of carbon. This rainforest is the largest rainforest on Earth, covering a whopping 1.4 billion acres (5,500,000 km2) in the Amazon, the World Wildlife Fund states.
The new information provided by Dr. Rutishauser, may lower the frequency at which forests are logged in order not to drain all of their carbon stocks.
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