Role of Forests in Carbon Sequestration

                                 First of all we should know about the carbon sequestration that is commonly called carbon capture. Carbon sequestration is the climate engineering technique for the long term store or storage of carbon, atmospheric carbon dioxide or other forms of carbon for the moderation of accede global warming and serious climate change. So by the definition of carbon sequestration we know that the atmospheric carbon dioxide is the green house gas and its excessive emission to the atmosphere is very dangerous to our climate. So around the past 155 year, the amount of carbon in atmosphere is increased by 32 percent. Mostly scientist believes that there is direct relationship between increasing level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and increasing the environmental or global temperature. The level of carbon or carbon dioxide should be kept low by the help of carbon sequestration which is one of the methods to kept low carbon concentration in the environment.

So there are various ways to capture the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in which naturally as biological, and artificial as physical and chemical processes. Among these we should concentrate on the natural process only because trees in the forest are the living thing. And in natural process there are two types one is the terrestrial ecosystem and 2nd is the aquatic ecosystem.  So our main concentration on carbon sequestration is the trees. The long term carbon capture forest are the one of the best carbon sequestration in long term wise or carbon dioxide co2 capture from the atmosphere.

So there is a permanent or constant flux and interchange between atmosphere and the forest ecosystem. This flux and exchange may vary or affected by the seasons. To understand the carbon cycle understands the processes of photosynthesis and respiration. Forest ecosystem is removing the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through the process of photosynthesis. So in this process tree take the energy form sunlight, water uptake from the soil by the roots and carbon dioxide co2 from the atmosphere to make the sugar and release the oxygen o2 to the atmosphere. This sugar is used to making the carbon based cellulose which is the basic structural component of plant cell. As a result carbon is bind to all the cells and tissues of tree in plant root, stem and leaves. Carbon comes back to the forest ecosystem through the process of respiration in which sugar and oxygen is converted into carbon dioxide and water it is reverse of photosynthesis. In the process energy is produce which are used for metabolic activity in plant. But greatly forest sequestration is more carbon in the process of photosynthesis than it is released by the respiration this term is called the as a carbon sink. So as tree growing it will bind up the more and more carbon into its tissues like stem and leaves etc. Carbon store in the plants is continuing for the specific age before homeostasis which time is comes at old age. Then the natural mortality or death of tree after the natural death the process of decomposition is start. In the process of decomposition microorganisms are  involve in break down dead part of tree to produce energy and in this way some of the bind carbon release into the atmosphere. Moreover, when trees fall to the ground and its others parts like leaves and roots which are already beneath the ground these parts decompose by the soil microbes which were converted this tree parts into soil biomass. In this way carbon dioxide co2 or carbon capture by the forest is release back into the atmosphere again. The forests stored the carbon for longer period of time when remains in the form of forest, if  cut the timber for the human use like make houses, furniture and others product not for burning and paper making carbon store or sequestration for long period  centuries of time. And forests are the best as carbon sink which is very good quality of forest to reduce the concentration of carbon or carbon dioxide co2 into the atmosphere to reduce the dangerous climate change. On the other hand when we use the wood for burn it will change into carbon dioxide co2 quickly and when we use as paper is will take some time or fix for the short period of time to convert again into carbon dioxide co2.

The forest management for the efficient carbon sequestration must be managed the forest as less emission of carbon dioxide co2 and we should increase the carbon sequestration with the help of some techniques.

  • Aforestation

It is the technique to cover the non forest land into the forest.

  • Reforestration

It is the technique to replanting the trees into the land which are previously          used for forest.

  • Forest preservation

It is also very important point in which forest will be keeping as forest.

  • Forest Management

These are the technique or strategies in which thinning and maximize the length the period of time between harvests (rotations) to decrease the risk of ruinous.


The young forest or young growing forest can sequester high range or amount of carbon in it. Because forest vigorous growth its carbon storing rate is high. New forest and replanted the new trees because their carbon capture capacity is very high. On the other hand old forest has low capability of capturing the carbon in it because their growth is stopped at the specific time in their life.  Old forest holds the very high amount of carbon or carbon dioxide co2 in their biomass. But in the new study the importance of the old big trees for the carbon sequestration is accepted. So in the new studies the conclusion is that preserving of old big trees in forest not only as these are the carbon source but also as they really and efficiently capture the high amount of carbon in their biomass as compare to the smaller trees.

Carbon is the main structural unit of wood cell and solid piece of carbon is called wood. So the single tree has a different amount of carbon in it to store the carbon from the atmosphere. In different part of tree have different   amount of carbon sequester or captured. So stem have most of the carbon in the tree part near about 62% after that the roots of the tree have most of the carbon sequester about 26% and then the branches of the tree have the carbon capture in it 11% and finally the leaves which have the carbon sequester init only 1%. Carbon storage in a wide lakes forest carbon sequestration will be 1% in leaves, 40% in trunks and branches, 1% in woody debris, 13% in the tree roots and 45% in the soil organic matter in the forest.

In ground roots and above soil surface stem, branches and leaves etc biomass of 73 species and trees are 769 with an average diameter is 35cm, height 12 meters and age is 39 years have sequestered 849554 kg  of carbon dioxide co2. Different variable for the carbon carrying, the diameter of the tree has the significant role in carbon sequestration. Diameter of the tree have most effective in carbon sequestration among the tree height, tree age etc.

The tree species sequester the most carbon piece of stem, root and leaf little of red oak, black walnut, Norway spruce, hybrid poplar and white cedar. The result is that in fast growing and age between 25 to 30 years hybrid poplar having the most potential to carbon sequestration. And while on the other hand in the slow growing and comparatively long age trees the white cedar have to potential to carbon sequestration. All over, the tree in between these species of tree, the tree species which have most potential to highest net carbon sequestration is hybrid poplar due to their most biomass and produced a lot of leaf little.

By the economical point the cost of carbon sequestration is cheap or low with the help of forestry as compare to other method of carbon sequestration like chemical transformation or engineering technique. Carbon sequestration is low cost with the help of forestry and it also very economically beneficial to create high amount of timber and other product of forestry. Therefore forestry is very good technique for the carbon sequestration.

So low level atmospheric green house gases increased by the burning of fossil fuel, cutting the forest, land changes for the use of industrial work and many other factor due to which climate is changed. In these green house gases carbon or carbon dioxide is very dangerous for the atmosphere. So the forest plays a crucial function in the climatic global carbon cycle, in forest sequester the most of the atmospheric carbon into its biomass for the long period of time. If manage the forest as for the long term carbon capture in it, and if harvest the forest and its product is used for making houses and furniture etc so carbon will be sequester for long period of time. Forests are the most important carbon sink. By managing the forest our timber production is also increase. So forests are co-benefit for us. Forest is also the low cost or cheap for carbon sequestration as compare to other techniques. All over forests is the very important role to sequester the carbon from the lower atmosphere to prevent the atmosphere from the very dangerous climate change.



Muhammad Yahya, DR.Anjum Aqeel, Naveed Iqbal, Khuram Shehzad, Imran Bashir, Imran shehzad, Faizan Iqbal

University college of Agriculture, University of Sargodha



This post is published by AgriHunt staff member. If you believe it should have your name please contact [email protected]

Articles: 1074

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *