Specialists indicate that the capacity of carbon dioxide absorption of trees is questionable. Several climate models may put their faith in the trees ability to absorb carbon dioxide at such a rate that they could erase the carbon emissions. New research has indicated that the storing capacity of carbon dioxide varies by the characteristics of the region.
Previously, climate models were developed around the idea that carbon dioxide storage capacity improves trees’ fertilization process. The new study was conducted by scientists at Western Sydney University (WSU) in Australia. It ponied out that the carbon dioxide absorption capacity of Australian trees was under the assumed rates.
The new research was published in the Nature Climate Change magazine. Based on the data provided by the study, Eucalyptus forests’ capacity of carbon absorption is linked to the lack of soil nutrients necessary to achieve the extra carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. During the research, extended areas of remnant native eucalyptus forests were affected by high levels of carbon dioxide at a WSU facility.
Nevertheless, scientists observed that even if the high levels of carbon dioxide determined a raise in photosynthesis, there was not registered a corresponding increase in the wood, stems, and leaves. Researchers were bound to develop a comparison between trees’ behavior in Europe, in the United States and Australia.
In Europe, the high levels of carbon dioxide in temperate forests indicated that the trees managed to grow by 23%. David Ellsworth, a researcher at the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment in WSU, claimed that the results of the study suggested that worldwide estimates of carbon absorption in forests might be higher than expected.
Ellsworth noted that several of the tropical and sub-tropical forests in the world developed on soils deficient in nutrients. Moreover, he also argued that conditions in the native forests of Australia were not as suitable for plants as scientists expected them to be. This idea was supported by the higher productivity which occurred when researchers added phosphorus to the ground under improved carbon dioxide and revealed a major rise in the growth of the trees by 35%.
The results also indicated that Australian eucalyptus trees could absorb more carbon dioxide from the air if nutrients are available in the soil.
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