Auburn University Research Team Studies Role of Climate-Smart Forestry in Southeast US

A team of Auburn University researchers has published the first study to define, outline, and apply novel climate-smart forestry (CSF) principles to North America, specifically the southern US. The study was made possible by the funding and expertise provided by Resource Management Services (RMS), Forest Investment Associates (FIA), and The Westervelt Company.

Climate-smart forestry is defined in the Auburn study as the relationship between economic goals and ecosystem services recognized by experts from the private timber industry, non-government organizations, and private forest landowners. The Auburn study, recently published in the journal Forests, sought to define CFS within the southeast US and exhibit how loblolly pine management, forest products, and data integrity can all work harmoniously to battle climate change by supporting increased forest carbon storage, a major CSF objective.

The team found that active forest management has a special role within CSF, and there is great potential for fast-growing loblolly pine rotations to alleviate climate-change effects, such as rising atmospheric carbon dioxide, through transferring such atmospheric carbon to biomass carbon.

The study shows that to mitigate climate change effectively, forest products are key to increasing carbon sequestration beyond current baseline. Fortunately, traditional forest plantation practices are already working towards that goal.

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