Left Menu
Development News Edition

Amazon forest regrowth happening much slower than thought: Study

PTI | London | Updated: 22-12-2019 14:36 IST | Created: 22-12-2019 14:31 IST
Amazon forest regrowth happening much slower than thought: Study

The regrowth of Amazonian forests following deforestation may happen at a much slower rate than previously thought, according to a new study. The research, published in the journal Ecology, monitored forest regrowth over two decades and shows that climate change, and the wider loss of forests, could be hampering regrowth in the Amazon.

Based on the findings, the researchers, including those from Lancaster University in the UK, predict there could be significant impacts for climate change predictions. They reasoned this could be because the ability of secondary forests to soak up carbon from the atmosphere may have been over-estimated.

Forests regrowing after clear-felling - commonly called secondary forests - have been thought an important tool in combatting human-caused climate change, since they take up large amounts of carbon from the atmosphere. However, the current study revealed that even after 60 years of regrowth, the studied secondary forests held only 40 percent of the carbon compared to forests that had not been disturbed by humans.

According to the researchers, continuation of current trends may push the recovery time of forests by well over a century, meaning their ability to help fight climate change may have been vastly overestimated. Additionally, the scientists said, secondary forests take less carbon from the atmosphere during droughts, while climate change continues to increase the number of drought-years in the Amazon.

"The region we studied in the Amazon has seen an increase in temperature of 0.1 degree Celsius per decade, and tree growth was lower during periods of drought. With predictions of more drought in the future, we must be cautious about the ability of secondary forests to mitigate climate change. Our results underline the need for international agreements that minimize the impacts of climate change," said Fernando Elias, study co-author from the Federal University of Para in Brazil. Secondary forests, the researchers said, can also provide important habitat for threatened species.

However, the current study indicated that the biodiversity levels in the secondary forests were only 56 percent of those seen local undisturbed forests, with no increase in species diversity during the 20 years of monitoring. "Our study shows that in heavily deforested areas, forest recovery needs additional support and investment to overcome the lack of seed sources and seed-dispersing animals. This is different from other areas we have studied where historic deforestation is much lower and secondary forests recover much faster without any human intervention," said study co-author Joice Ferreira from the Federal University of Para.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Rethinking Rural Livelihoods in the Times of COVID-19

The reverse migration caused by COVID 19 pandemic has put an additional burden of about one crore people on Indian villages particularly in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Bengal and Odisha. Besides increasing the risk of spreading the ...

‘Discounted Deaths’ and COVID 19: Anthropology of Death and Emotions

Death is a social event rather than the mere cessation of biological functions. As seen by anthropologists, death is not just physical but intensely social, cultural, and political....

Indigenous knowledge of communities a must for maximizing impact of community work

Generally, it has been observed that the majority of the academicians in higher education institutions neglect the wisdom of community people and throw their weight around thinking that they know everything and the community knows nothing. ...

In rebuking FBR, Pakistan’s courts take a stand for public health

The system, if implemented effectively, will allow Pakistans revenue service to combat the illicit trade in tobacco products and potentially add hundreds of millions of dollars to the states budget each year. ...

Videos

Latest News

Doctors kept close eye on Trump's use of malaria drug

The White House medical team kept a close eye on President Donald Trumps heart rhythms, including at least one electrocardiogram, to watch for potential side effects when he took a two-week course of a malaria drug to try to prevent the cor...

Indore reports 36 new COVID-19 cases, 4 deaths

Indore reported 36 new COVID-19 cases and four deaths on Wednesday, said district health department. With the new positive cases reported, the total positive cases in the district climbed to 3,633.While the death toll in the district reache...

Security forces bust terrorist hideout in J-K's Kishtwar

A joint team of Indian Army and Police busted a terrorist hideout, which resulted in a recovery of arms, ammunition and warlike stores, in Chhachchha forest of Kishtwar district on June 3.The recoveries included one AK 56 Rifle, one magazin...

13-year-old girl gets married in Telangana, case to be registered

PV Padmaja, Deputy Commissioner of Police DCP, Balanagar on Wednesday said a case of child marriage will be registered as a 13-year-old girl married a 22-year-old man in Medchal district of Telangana. The marriage took place on June 1.Women...

Give Feedback