BU PhD student quoted on Science Daily website

Phil Martin, a PhD student at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology at Bournemouth University, gave his comments to Science Daily about a recent study which found plant biodiversity takes longer to recover than carbon storage.

Martin said, “We think plant species normally found in old-growth forests are failing to colonise re-growing forests because their seeds never get there. These recovering forests are often far from old-growth forests and surrounded by farmland. This means forest animals cannot move seeds between the two forests.”

Martin added, “We suggest that when conservationists aim to restore tropical forests they should help dispersal of seeds from undisturbed to re-growing areas by planting trees throughout the wider landscape.”

The research team, from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and Bournemouth University conducted a synthesis of data collected from more than 600 secondary forest sites.

They concluded that although carbon recovered most quickly, even after 80 years re-growing forests tended to have less carbon than old-growth forests. This is probably because these forests are often dominated by small, fast growing trees. It may take centuries for larger trees which hold more carbon to become established.

To read the story in full, visit the Science Daily website.