Species-rich forests better compensate environmental impacts

UZH image subtropical southeastern China

One of 27 forest allotments in the province of Zhejiang in subtropical southeastern China. (Image: UZH)

To offset CO2 emissions, China is reforesting. Much more carbon could be stored, if a mixture of tree species instead of monocultures were planted. An international team including UZH researchers has shown that species-rich forest ecosystems take up more CO2 from the atmosphere and store more carbon in biomass and soil, making them more effective against climate change.

This research was carried out by an international collaboration. Among them were SPSW members Bernhard Schmid and Pascal Niklaus with their teams at the Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies of the University of Zurich.

Reference publication
Xiaojuan Liu, Stefan Trogisch, Jin-Sheng He, Pascal A. Niklaus, Helge Bruelheide, Zhiyao Tang, Alexandra Erfmeier, Michael Scherer-Lorenzen, Katherina A. Pietsch, Bo Yang, Peter Kühn, Thomas Scholten, Yuanyuan Huang, Chao Wang, Michael Staab, Katrin N. Leppert, Christian Wirth, Bernhard Schmid and Keping Ma. Tree species richness increases ecosystem carbon storage in subtropicalforests. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 22 August 2018, DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2018.1240

UZH News,  also available in German: Artenreiche Wälder kompensieren die Klimabelastungen besser