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You are here: Home / Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2018 / Reconciling biodiversity and carbon stock conservation in an Afrotropical forest landscape

Frederik Van de Perre, Michael Willig, Steven Presley, Frank Bapeamoni Andemwana, Hans Beeckman, Pascal Boeckx, Stijn Cooleman, Myriam de Haan, André De Kesel, Steven Dessein, Patrick Grootaert, Dries Huygens, Steven Janssens, Elizabeth Kearsley, Patrick Kabeya, Maurice Leponce, Dries Van den Broeck, Hans Verbeeck, Bart Würsten, Herwig Leirs, and Erik Verheyen (2018)

Reconciling biodiversity and carbon stock conservation in an Afrotropical forest landscape

Science Advances, 4(3): eaar6603.

Protecting aboveground carbon stocks in tropical forests is essential for mitigating global climate change and is assumed to simultaneously conserve biodiversity. Although the relationship between tree diversity and carbon stocks is generally positive, the relationship remains unclear for consumers or decomposers. We assessed this relationship for multiple trophic levels across the tree of life (10 organismal groups, 3 kingdoms) in lowland rainforests of the Congo Basin. Comparisons across regrowth and old-growth forests evinced the expected positive relationship for trees, but not for other organismal groups. Moreover, differences in species composition between forests increased with difference in carbon stock. These variable associations across the tree of life contradict the implicit assumption that maximum co-benefits to biodiversity are associated with conservation of forests with the highest carbon storage. Initiatives targeting climate change mitigation and biodiversity conservation should include both old-growth and regenerating forests to optimally benefit biodiversity and carbon storage.

Peer Review, International Redaction Board, Impact Factor, Open Access
  • DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aar6603

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