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Contact: Joseph Bonner
Rockefeller University

Annual Change in Forest Area and Carbon Mass 2000-2010

Caption: Forests in many regions are becoming larger carbon sinks thanks to higher density, US and European researchers say in a new report. In Europe and North America, increased density significantly raised carbon storage despite little or no expansion of forest area, according to the study, led by Aapo Rautiainen of the University of Helsinki, Finland, and published by the online, open-access journal PLoS One. The researchers analyzed information from 68 nations, which together account for 72 percent of the world’s forested land and 68 percent of reported carbon mass. They conclude that managing forests for timber growth and density offers a way to increase stored carbon, even with little or no expansion of forest area.

Credit: Rautiainen et al., 2011

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Related news release: Higher density means world forests are capturing more carbon

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