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NEWS RELEASE No: 1551819 JUNE 2012

Report sheds light on carbon and greenhouse gases in British forests

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View over Alice Holt from the top of The Straits tower

A new research report just published by the Forestry Commission sets out to improve understanding of the carbon and greenhouse gas balance of Britain’s forests.

Entitled ‘Understanding the carbon and greenhouse gas balance of forests in Britain’, the report reviews current knowledge and understanding of carbon stocks and greenhouse gas fluxes.

The report summarises key information on carbon stocks and fluxes in British forests, both in the trees and soil, the fluxes of other greenhouse gases, and the processes that determine them. It also looks at how these stocks and fluxes are affected by changes as tree stands grow, and by forest management decisions and forestry operations. The review also highlights evidence gaps and limitations in the available information and consequent future research needs.

Welcoming its publication, Tim Rollinson, Forestry Commission Director-General, said,

“As outlined in the Read Report on Forests and Climate Change, Britain’s forests can play a significant role in mitigating our net greenhouse gas emissions.

“However, understanding what determines the size of forestry carbon stocks and their components, and the processes and controls on the exchanges of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in forests and woodland, is critical in assisting the forestry sector to contribute to reducing climate change caused by human activities.

“This report will make a significant and very welcome contribution to that understanding and to informing forestry policy as we seek to maximise forestry’s contribution to tackling climate change.”

The report was written by James Morison and colleagues from the Forestry Commission’s Forest Research agency.

It is available to download free of charge from the publications area of the Forestry Commission’s website, It is not available in hard copy form. The stock code is FCRP018.