Trading water for carbon with biological carbon sequestration.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Carbon sequestration strategies highlight tree plantations without considering their full environmental consequences. We combined field research, synthesis of more than 600 observations, and climate and economic modeling to document substantial losses in stream flow, and increased soil salinization and acidification, with afforestation. Plantations decreased stream flow by 227 millimeters per year globally (52%), with 13% of streams drying completely for at least 1 year. Regional modeling of U.S. plantation scenarios suggests that climate feedbacks are unlikely to offset such water losses and could exacerbate them. Plantations can help control groundwater recharge and upwelling but reduce stream flow and salinize and acidify some soils.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Jackson, RB; Jobbágy, EG; Avissar, R; Roy, SB; Barrett, DJ; Cook, CW; Farley, KA; le Maitre, DC; McCarl, BA; Murray, BC

Published Date

  • December 2005

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 310 / 5756

Start / End Page

  • 1944 - 1947

PubMed ID

  • 16373572

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1095-9203

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0036-8075

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1126/science.1119282


  • eng