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Short-Rotation Forestry: Implications for Carbon Sequestration in Mitigating Climate Change

  • Nongmaithem Raju Singh
  • Kamini
  • Naresh Kumar
  • Dhiraj Kumar
Chapter

Abstract

The unceasing loss of natural forest ecosystems and pressure on limited biomass production for fuel and timber has led to a search for a new platform. During the past few decades, plantation forestry has expanded around the world to meet the demands of biomass production, especially for energy consumption, with the aim to replace fossil fuels. In this context, short-rotation forestry (SRF; or fast-growing tree plantations) has played a major role due to its rapid growth. The potential of forest ecosystems to mitigate climate change has been the focus of many international organizations. However, to adapt and mitigate climate change, the potentialities of SRF need to be addressed: the majority of SRF is used for energy production, thereby releasing carbon dioxide (CO2) to the atmosphere; thus, the conversion into durable products is urgently required. The carbon sequestration (Cseq) potential of different short-rotation plantations around the world has been assessed by different researchers to be 1.3–8.0 Mg C/ha/year. Similarly, studies have observed that carbon content in the soil tends to change with the establishment of SRF; most of the studies showed a declining trend of soil organic carbon, with a maximum of 20% in the initial years and followed by improvement of soil carbon up to 57%. However, the impacts of SRF on soil sustainability and biodiversity are another limitation on the acceptability of SRF in terms of its long-term sustainability. The proper management and implementation of policy incentives to maximize the importance of carbon credits could increase the sustainability of SRF and be considered as a future approach to mitigate climate change. Other afforestation and reforestation activities on wasteland, unproductive arable land, and agroforestry could also widen the scope of SRF to curb such climate change issues.

Keywords

Short-rotation forestry Carbon sequestration Climate change 

Abbreviations

C

Carbon

CDM

Clean development mechanism

CO2

Carbon dioxide

Cseq

Carbon sequestration

GHG

Greenhouse gas

MAI

Mean annual increment

SOC

Soil organic carbon

SRF

Short-rotation forestry

SRP

Short-rotation plantation

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nongmaithem Raju Singh
    • 1
  • Kamini
    • 2
  • Naresh Kumar
    • 3
  • Dhiraj Kumar
    • 3
  1. 1.ICAR-Research Complex for Eastern RegionPatnaIndia
  2. 2.ICAR-Indian Grassland and Fodder Research InstituteJhansiIndia
  3. 3.ICAR-Central Agroforestry Research InstituteJhansiIndia

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