Focali

Sections
Hunting jeopardizes forest carbon storage, yet is overlooked in climate mitigation efforts

Photo by Vishu Gowda on Unsplash

Hunting jeopardizes forest carbon storage, yet is overlooked in climate mitigation efforts

The loss of animals, often due to unregulated or illegal hunting, has consequences for the carbon storage capacity of forests, yet this link is rarely mentioned in high-level climate policy discussions, according to a new study from Lund University in Sweden and the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

Many wildlife species play a key role in dispersing the seeds of tropical trees, particularly large-seeded tree species, that on average have a slightly higher wood density than small-seeded trees. The loss of wildlife therefore affects the survival of these tree species – in turn potentially affecting the carbon storage capacity of tropical forests.

Forest fauna are also involved in many other ecological processes, including pollination, germination, plant regeneration and growth, and biogeochemical cycles.  Empirical studies across the tropics have shown that defaunation (i.e., the human-induced extinction of wildlife) can have cascading effects on forest structure and dynamics.

The sustainability of hunting is questionable in many locations, and particularly larger species are rapidly depleted when hunting supplies urban markets with meat from wild animals.

The study assessed to which extent the link between defaunation and carbon storage capacity was addressed in contemporary forest governance, focusing on a particular mechanism reffered to as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+).

Access the full news at Lund University website.

__________________________________________________________________

This news is based on the article Not seeing the forest for the trees: The oversight of defaunation in REDD+ and global forest governance by Torsten Krause.

The Forest-Water Nexus: bringing people and landscapes together

Focali co-arrange seminar on forest-water interactions at this year's World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden, together with FAO, IUCN, IUFRO, SIWI-SWH, The Swedish Forestry Agency, SIANI and SLU. ...

Agricultural Research for Development Conference, Agri4D 2019: Registration open!

There is more than enough food produced in the world to feed everyone but close to 1 billion people are hungry or undernourished, according to the FAO. To feed another two billion people in 2050, food ...

Focalis newsletter

Fill out your name and e-mail and press subscribe.