A new study published in the journal Global Change Biology and led by Trevor Caughlin and Anand Roopsind sheds light on how to balance timber production and carbon storage in tropical forests. The article is titled “Trade-offs between carbon stocks and timber recovery in tropical forests are mediated by logging intensity.”
Tropical forests provide critical ecosystem services for life on Earth including climate protection by storing large amounts of carbon. One big challenge is that these forests are located in poor countries where improvement of human livelihoods is paramount.
The researchers used field data and mathematical models to determine thresholds for logging intensity in Guyana, a biodiverse country that is globally important as a forest carbon reservoir, after which tropical forests managed for timber begin to lose their ability to recover their carbon stocks and supply timber. The focus on timber stand management is crucial as half of all remaining tropical forests currently are being logged.