Tropical forest ecosystems are an important part of the global carbon cycle as they take up and store large amounts of CO2.
It is however uncertain how much these forests’ ability to take up and store carbon differ between forests with high versus low species richness. New IIASA research sheds light on this question aiming to enhance our ability to predict tropical ecosystems’ strength as global carbon sinks.
The authors of the new study published in Scientific Reports, investigated how many species are needed for tropical ecosystem functioning and associated ecosystem services, including carbon sequestration, to project future changes in the climate that affect ecosystem carbon storage and thus might trigger further climatic change through increased greenhouse gas emissions. It is important that we are able to construct realistic scenarios of how tropical ecosystems function to help improve current conservation and management strategies, so they can continue to provide their valuable services into the future.
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