Journal article

Reforestation with native mixed-species plantings in a temperate continental climate effectively sequesters and stabilizes carbon within decades

Shaun C Cunningham, Timothy R Cavagnaro, Ralph Mac Nally, Keryn I Paul, Patrick J Baker, Jason Beringer, James R Thomson, Ross M Thompson



Reforestation has large potential for mitigating climate change through carbon sequestration. Native mixed-species plantings have a higher potential to reverse biodiversity loss than do plantations of production species, but there are few data on their capacity to store carbon. A chronosequence (5-45 years) of 36 native mixed-species plantings, paired with adjacent pastures, was measured to investigate changes to stocks among C pools following reforestation of agricultural land in the medium rainfall zone (400-800 mm yr(-1)) of temperate Australia. These mixed-species plantings accumulated 3.09 ± 0.85 t C ha(-1) yr(-1) in aboveground biomass and 0.18 ± 0.05 t C ha(-1) yr(-1) in plant litter,..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by Australian Research Council Linkage Program

Awarded by ARC Future Fellowships

Awarded by ARC DORA Fellowship

Funding Acknowledgements

This research was funded by the Australian Research Council Linkage Program (LP0990038), Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment Victoria, Goulburn-Broken Catchment Management Authority (CMA), Victorian EPA, Kilter Pty. Ltd. and the North Central CMA. Jason Beringer, Ross Thompson, Tim Cavagnaro, and Patrick Baker were supported in part by ARC Future Fellowships (FT110100602, FT110100957, FT120100463, and FT120100715 respectively). Ralph Mac Nally was supported in part by an ARC DORA Fellowship (DP120100797). We thank the landholders for providing access to their farms. Big thanks to Scott Mc Donald, Kristen Metzeling, and Sarah Fitzpatrick for their assistance and good cheer in the field and laboratory.