Avoiding bio-perversity from carbon sequestration solutions

Lindenmayer, David B., Hulvey, Kristin B., Hobbs, Richard J., Colyvan, Mark, Felton, Adam, Possingham, Hugh, Steffen, Will, Wilson, Kerrie, Youngentob, Kara and Gibbons, Philip (2012) Avoiding bio-perversity from carbon sequestration solutions. Conservation Letters, 5 1: 28-36. doi:10.1111/j.1755-263X.2011.00213.x

Author Lindenmayer, David B.
Hulvey, Kristin B.
Hobbs, Richard J.
Colyvan, Mark
Felton, Adam
Possingham, Hugh
Steffen, Will
Wilson, Kerrie
Youngentob, Kara
Gibbons, Philip
Title Avoiding bio-perversity from carbon sequestration solutions
Journal name Conservation Letters   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1755-263X
Publication date 2012-01-01
Year available 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1755-263X.2011.00213.x
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 5
Issue 1
Start page 28
End page 36
Total pages 9
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Language eng
Abstract The development of a new carbon economy has the potential to offer win–win outcomes for environments and economies. Large-scale tree plantations are expected to play a major role in carbon economies but could have negative ecological and economic consequences when key environmental values such as biodiversity conservation are not considered. We discuss three potential “bio-perversities”—negative outcomes for biodiversity—that could result from inappropriate plantation tree programs aimed solely at reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide and mitigating rapid climate change effects. These are: (1) clearing native vegetation to establish tree plantations, (2) planting trees that become invasive taxa, and (3) tree plantations negatively affecting key ecosystem processes such as fire and hydrological regimes. These bio-perversities may result from common mistakes in environmental management: (1) too narrow a focus on a single environmental value, (2) failing to adequately quantify ecological uncertainty, and (3) failing to anticipate how different groups of people respond to an environmental problem. We highlight ways to prevent possible bio-perverse outcomes in large-scale plantation programs. These include requiring that risk assessments precede project establishment, full carbon accounting is undertaken, incentives used to stimulate tree plantation establishment are rigorously examined, and rigorous compliance and ecological monitoring is undertaken.
Keyword Altered ecosystem processes
Carbon economy
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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