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Rates and drivers of aboveground carbon accumulation in global monoculture plantation forests


Restoring forest cover is a key action for mitigating climate change. Although monoculture plantations dominate existing commitments to restore forest cover, we lack a synthetic view of how carbon accumulates in these systems. Here, we assemble a global database of 4756 field-plot measurements from monoculture plantations across all forested continents. With these data, we model carbon accumulation in aboveground live tree biomass and examine the biological, environmental, and human drivers that influence this growth. Our results identify four-fold variation in carbon accumulation rates across tree genera, plant functional types, and biomes, as well as the key mediators (e.g., genus of tree, endemism of species, prior land use) of variation in these rates. Our nonlinear growth models advance our understanding of carbon accumulation in forests relative to mean annual rates, particularly during the next few decades that are critical for mitigating climate change.

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