The more naturally verdant an area is, the more likely it will contribute to the general health of the habitats and the organisms in and around it.
The more naturally verdant an area is, the more likely it will contribute to the general health of the habitats and the organisms in and around it. Sometimes, though, tracing these qualities to specific benefits can be a challenge.
However, in a study published in the journal PLOS, Arturo Keller, a professor of environmental biogeochemistry at UC Santa Barbara, presents a hard link between reforestation of marginal, degraded or abandoned agricultural land and significant benefits in water quality. This relationship, he argues, lends itself toward a program that incentivizes facilities that discharge pollutants, and local farmers to plant trees for water quality credits.
“While we have intuitively known that reforestation can be a very positive action, to date, determining how much bang for your buck you can get in terms of water quality has not been reliably quantified,” said Keller, the study’s lead author and a faculty member in the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management. “Here we present an approach for identifying areas where reforestation will be most effective for improving water quality, using a widely available USDA model and data sets that anyone can access.”
Read more at University of California - Santa Barbara
Photo: Sediment and nutrients flow into the Gulf of Mexico to cause algal blooms and a subsequent hypoxic "dead zone."
Photo Credit: NASA/GOOGLE EARTH