Faster tree growth leads to lower longevity and forest C storage

forest mali maeder

Rising carbon dioxide levels stimulate faster tree growth, but it does not translate into more long-term carbon storage in forests.

Authors analyzed tree rings of living and relict tree covering more than 2000 years at undisturbed high-elevation sites in the Spanish Pyrenees and Russian Altai. Dendrochronological findings reveal that accelerated tree growth (past, present and future) is unlikely to translate into enhanced carbon sequestration, thereby mitigating the global greenhouse effect.

The data also show that an increase in biomass productivity reduces tree longevity. A faster turnover of individual trees results in a shorter carbon residence time from stand to biome scales.

Prof. em Dr. Christian Körner is a member of the Swiss Plant Science Web.

Reference publications
• Buntgen, Ulf; Krusic, Paul J; Piermattei, Alma; Coomes, David A; Esper, Jan; Myglan, Vladimir S; Kirdyanov, Alexander V; Julio Camarero, J; Crivellaro, Alan; Koerner, Christian
Limited capacity of tree growth to mitigate the global greenhouse effect under predicted warming


• Koerner, Christian
A matter of tree longevity
SCIENCE 355 (6321):130-131 10.1126/science.aal2449  JAN 13 2017

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Weil Bäume CO2 speichern, werden sie oft als das probate Mittel gegen die Klimaerwärmung gepriesen. Doch was ist dran am Wundermittel Baum? Mit zunehmenden Temperaturen wachsen Bäume schneller. Eine Studie erläutert die Wirkung auf die Speicherung von CO2.

«Bluewin-Video» traf den Co-Autor Professor Christian Körner am Institut für Botanik der Universität Basel. Link zum Video-Interview

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