Recently, a new study by environmental systems scientist Tom Crowther of ETH Zurich and colleagues suggest that planting forests could reduce atmospheric carbon by 25 percent and play a significant role in tackling climate change.
But is the solution to the vexing global problem of climate change be as simple as planting more trees? Not so fast, said some ecologists:
“Not all areas that could be forested should necessarily be forested,” Chazdon says. Taking the local ecosystems into consideration, as well as the impact of trees on the communities nearby, is essential in making global tree restoration viable. In other words, battling climate change with carbon-sucking trees requires more planning and strategy than just planting trees everywhere we can. [...]
The implications of putting trees where they don’t belong could be serious. Misplaced flora could kill local ecosystems, weaken biodiversity, dry up water supplies and make areas more prone to fires. Countries like Japan and Ireland are already experiencing the consequences of poorly planned tree planting initiatives. The use of just one or two tree species to replant in those countries has led to ecological disruptions.
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