Thursday, October 30, 2014

Trees in Borneo among world's most productive in recycling carbon

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Brunei - Researchers are studying the ability of forests in the Sultanate to uptake carbon, with fresh data indicating that trees in Borneo are amongst the world's most productive in recycling carbon.

Dr Lan Qie from Leeds University who delivered a talk at the Faculty of Science at Universiti Brunei Darussalam yesterday, said that tropical forests were by far the most dominant in terms of biomass - a measure of organic matter - in comparison to ecosystems around the globe.

A study examining the differences in wood production above ground level, published in the Journal of Ecology earlier this May indentified that trees are taller per diameter in Southeast Asia compared with South America, allowing greater uptake of carbon.

The study which examined data from 26 hectares of forest and 12,000 trees monitored for more than 20 years calculated the amount of biomass gained in the woody parts of a tree, which can be estimated from repeated measures of tree diameter and estimates of wood density and tree height.

"From data being collected on the tropics in Africa and South America, the data suggests that the most mature forests are absorbing an increasing amount of carbon as they are still growing," she said.