The Potential for Carbon Sequestration through Reforestation of Abandoned Tropical Agricultural and Pasture Lands

Silver, W.L., R. Ostertag and A.E. Lugo

Publication Date:

Approximately half of the tropical biome is in some stage of recovery from past human disturbance, most of which is in secondary forests growing on abandoned agricultural lands and pastures. Reforestation of these abandoned lands, both natural and managed, has been proposed as a means to help offset increasing carbon emissions to the atmosphere. In this paper we discuss the potential of these forests to serve as sinks for atmospheric carbon dioxide in aboveground biomass and soils. A review of literature data shows that aboveground biomass increases at a rate of 6.2 Mg ha_1 yr_1 d_ring the first 2_ years of s_ccession, and at a rate of 2.9 Mg ha_1 yr_1 over the first __ years of regrowth. __ring the first 2_ years of regrowth, forests in wet life zones have the fastest rate of aboveground carbon accumulation with reforestation, followed by dry and moist forests.

Resource Type:
Peer-reviewed Article

Restoration Ecology