Great Bear Rainforest :: Photo Essay :: 13

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Photo © Tim Ennis Photography
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Photo © Tim Ennis Photography
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Carbon sink

Increasingly, people are tuning in to the impacts of human activities on the global atmospheric carbon budget. Carbon trading and offset programs are becoming ever popular. In many cases there is an emphasis on trees and large tracts of intact old-growth forests as important carbon “sinks”. I find it interesting to note that in fact Sphagnum moss and Sphagnum litter store more carbon than any other vascular or non-vascular plant on earth. The role of boreal ecosystems are often celebrated for their roles in locking carbon away in layers of Sphagnum dominated permafrost.

Coastal temperate rainforests however, may also be particularly important in this regard as well, and not just for the carbon stored in wood. Here, the forest floor is often carpeted in thick layers of Sphagnum than may be meters deep. Coastal peat bogs are also very common on upland sites and along the outer coast. Although there is more atmospheric exchange than in permafrost zones, these mosses still act as carbon sinks perhaps at rates as high as 0.5 tonne of Carbon per hectare per year.

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YES Story button spacer :: UPDATE
Historic Accord Protects B.C. Forests
First Nations are gaining more control over their traditional lands while considerations of sustainability are becoming central to forestry planning.

YES Archive button spacer :: SIGN OF LIFE
Rainforest Logging Shutdown in BC
The British Columbia logging company MacMillan Bloedel announced January 8, 1997, that it is shutting down its logging operations in the Clayoquot Sound rainforest, BC.



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