Surprising article in NATURE
December 10, 2013 by Jannick Schmidt
Interesting new article in Nature shows that trees continue to grow and sequester carbon as they mature.
Based on a comprehensive study of 403 tree species and more than 600.000 individual trees from all over the world the scientists question the time-honoured paradigm that old trees grow less than the younger trees. They find that old trees “put on more weight” as they mature – i.e. the productivity at the level of the individual tree is shown to grow with age.
This can explain the “missing sink” for carbon that has puzzled scientist trying to make the carbon cycle data balance.
This news stresses the importance of preserving mature forests, since it would appear that the old giants of the forest are not only carbon reservoirs but actively fix large amounts of carbon compared to smaller trees.