The international weekly journal of science, Nature, published a fascinating study that helps to clarify the role of the largest trees in our ecosystem. The idea that young trees have the edge on their older siblings in carbon accumulation has been debunked.
According to the article, “Many foresters have long assumed that trees gradually lose their vigour as they mature, but a new analysis suggests that the larger a tree gets, the more kilos of carbon it puts on each year.”
This is very good news for the work we do at Archangel Ancient Tree Archive. The value in saving old trees has been verified by scientists.
There has been much debate about the value of old growth trees as a tool to mitigate global warming. Many argue that newer trees and forests grow faster and capture more carbon than old growth forests. We are on the side that old growth forests are critical to the health of our planet, and so we have been dedicated to protecting not only the actual old growth forests, but also preserving the genetics of these iconic old growth trees in archival living libraries. We are cloning these trees for mass reforestation using the proven genetics of ancient trees.
“A single big tree can add the same amount of carbon to the forest within a year as is contained in an entire mid-sized tree.”
-Nature: Rate of tree carbon accumulation increases continuously with tree size
A recent study published in the journal Nature found that the largest trees gained the most mass each year in 97% of the species. This is good news for the work we are doing at Archangel – assisting nature to replant the world’s biggest trees; the Coast redwood and Giant Sequoia as a tool to mitigate global warming.
[pl_blockquote cite=”Nathan Stephenson, Ecologist at the US Geological Survey in Three Rivers, California”]The trees that are adding the most mass are the biggest ones, and that holds pretty much everywhere on Earth that we looked. Trees have the equivalent of an adolescent growth spurt, but it just keeps going.”[/pl_blockquote]
Read the fascinating overview article in Nature here. For a more in depth look at the topic, read the abstract of the study: Rate of tree carbon accumulation increases continuously with tree size.