Kate Byng-Hall looks into the unintended consequences of reforestation and some of the need-to-knows.
Photo by Eberhard Grossgasteiger
Of the world’s 3 trillion trees,15 billion are lost every year to deforestation, forest management and changes in land use, leading to concerns about the planet’s carbon storage.
Of course, more trees would mean increased habitats and food sources for wildlife, but research has also suggested that an acre of matured trees could provide enough oxygen to supply 18 people for a whole year. The amount of carbon dioxide that trees absorb could even be enough to counteract global warming if enough were planted.
However, a report by the government’s Natural Capital Committee published in Nature is urging planters to do this responsibly, as planting new trees incorrectly could have a damaging effect on the environment, rather than an improving one.