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

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


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.


Short-rotation forestry Carbon sequestration Climate change 





Clean development mechanism


Carbon dioxide


Carbon sequestration


Greenhouse gas


Mean annual increment


Soil organic carbon


Short-rotation forestry


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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