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Liana cutting in selectively logged forests increases both carbon sequestration and timber yields

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Putz, FE; Cayetano, DT; Belair, EP; Ellis, PW; Roopsind, A; Griscom, BW; Finlayson, C; Finkral, A; Cho, PP; Romero, C

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2023

FOREST ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT

539

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Infestations of trees by woody climbing plants (i.e., lianas) are common and increasing in an estimated 250 Mha of the 1 billion hectares of mixed-species tropical and temperate forest subjected to selective logging. Cutting lianas that impede the growth of future crop trees (FCTs) in these forests would sequester carbon at low cost and increase timber yields. We estimate that application of this treatment to five liana-infested FCTs per hectare across the 250 Mha of selectively logged forest would result in 0.8 PgCO(2) of additional carbon removals by the liberated trees over 30 years at a direct cost of well less than $1.00 MgCO2-1. The same treatment could also be applied in forests not destined for logging where liana infestations were exacerbated by prior anthropogenic disturbances. If the numbers of trees liberated from lianas is kept small, undesired impacts on biodiversity will be minimized. One-Sentence Summary: Liberating future crop trees from lianas is a cost-effective way to increase rates of carbon sequestration, increase timber yields, and restore degraded forest.

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