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Forestry role in carbon cycle explained

DATE 21/06/2011

An internationally-recognised carbon scientist last week gave a series of three public presentations on how the management of forests impacts on greenhouse gas levels.  

Dr Martin Moroni spent nearly ten years working in Newfoundland for the national Canadian government as a Climate Change Scientist before returning to his native Tasmania and a senior research position with Forestry Tasmania. 

He has just published a comprehensive paper on carbon capture for the Forest and Wood Products Australia group and the Cooperative Research Centre for Forestry. 

Dr Moroni said the debate about the impact of forestry on carbon was often over simplified and missed important roles for the industry. 

“A common mistake is for people to think of forests as static systems, as if eucalypt forests can be old forever.

 “In fact trees grow and die, including large areas of mortality following wildfire, and thus forests both add and remove carbon from the atmosphere.

 “Landscape carbon storage is only part of the role of forests in greenhouse gas mitigation.

 “A long term view is needed to consider the full impact on society,” Dr Moroni said.