Florida Trees Store Carbon in Forests and Wood Products

Pine trees in a forest-- Tyler Jones

Trees store carbon as they grow and produce wood. Carbon, and carbon storage in particular, have become important topics as policymakers, scientists, and industry leaders consider how to address the increasing amount of CO2 in our atmosphere. Because it changes the composition of the atmosphere, CO2 is a leading contributor to climate change. This 4-page fact sheet written by Adam Maggard, Leslie Boby, and Martha Monroe and published by the UF/IFAS School of Forest Resources and Conservation explains how storing carbon in living trees and in long-lasting wood products such as lumber and furniture can reduce atmospheric CO2. Florida’s forest and wood-product industries are worth billions of dollars. Clean water, wildlife, and other benefits add to the value and importance of these forests.

Carbon Stocks on Forest Stewardship Program and Adjacent Lands

Pine trees in a forest

Nonindustrial private forestlands in Florida provide many environmental benefits, or ecosystem services. Ecosystem services are benefits from nature that are directly enjoyed, consumed, or used by humans, such as water quality improvement or protection, recreation, biodiversity, and even timber. Another benefit from forests that is gaining interest is their ability to store carbon through the photosynthetic capture of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, in tree, plant, and soil biomass. The carbon dioxide that is stored over the life of a forest, called carbon stocks, is not only important for mitigating greenhouse gas contributions to climate change, but it can also be valued in several markets and incorporated into environmental policy instruments. This 5-page fact sheet was written by Nilesh Timilsina, Francisco J. Escobedo, Alison E. Adams, and Damian C. Adams and published by the UF Department of School of Forest Resources and Conservation April 2017.

An Overview of Carbon Markets for Florida Forest Landowners

florida forestPayments for sequestering carbon in forests can be an important supplemental income source in the southern US which includes one-third of the contiguous US forest carbon stocks and supplies 16% of the world’s wood. It is difficult to understand the carbon market and certification options available to Florida forest landowners and the possible risks of participating in them. To address this need, UF/IFAS forest management specialists provide this overview of forest carbon markets in the United States as of 2014 and compare key features of the four major carbon offset certification options. This 9-page fact sheet was written by José R. Soto, Francisco J. Escobedo, and Damian C. Adams, and published by the UF Department of School of Forest Resources and Conservation, July 2014.

Florida Forest Landowner Preferences for Carbon Offset Program Characteristics

florida forestThis 7-page fact sheet explains how carbon-offset programs operate and examines their benefits to landowners and the environment, especially in Florida and the southeast US. A summary of a recent study of Florida forest landowners is used to better reveal views on forest carbon-offset programs and their willingness-to-accept monetary compensation for their enrollment in such programs. Written by José R. Soto, Damian C. Adams, and Francisco J. Escobedo, and published by the UF Department of School of Forest Resources and Conservation, July 2014.

Conservation Subdivision: Post-construction Phase – Urban Trees Can Reduce Household Carbon Footprint (WEC321/UW366)

Figure 1. A young tree planted in front of a new home in Gainesville, FL, that in the future will store and sequester carbon and reduce carbon emissions by shading the home.During the post-construction phase, the conservation and planting of native trees in individual yards and open spaces can reduce household and neighborhood carbon footprints. This 5-page fact sheet discusses the importance of urban trees and their role in mitigating for climate change by avoiding carbon emissions and removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Written by Richard Vaughn, Mark Hostetler, and Francisco Escobedo, and published by the UF Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, June 2012.

Secuestro y Distribución de Carbono Orgánico del Suelo Bajo Diferentes Sistemas de Manejo de Pasturas (SL363/SS564)

Ciclo global carbónico. Los mantos (en negro) son gigatoneladas de carbono. Los flujos (en morado) son Gt de carbono por año. El secuestro de carbono en el suelo es el proceso de transformación del carbono del aire al carbono orgánico, almacenado en el suelo. A través del secuestro de carbono, los niveles de CO2 atmosférico pueden reducirse en la medida que los niveles de carbono orgánico del suelo aumentan. This 3-page fact sheet was written by Alejandra María Jimenez Madrid, José Trinidad Reyes Sandoval, and Maria L. Silveira, and published by the UF Department of Soil and Water Science, January 2012.

SL301/SS514 Soil Structure in Everglades Agricultural Area Histosols: Effects on Carbon Sequestration and Subsidence

SL-301, a 6-page illustrated fact sheet by A.L. Wright and E. A. Hanlon, discusses organic soil oxidation relative to storing or releasing carbon and nitrogen, evaluates effects of cultivation, and uses this information to predict long-term outcomes for agricultural production and reclamation. Includes references. Published by the UF Department of Soil and Water Science, August 2009.