Manchester Metropolitan University's Research Repository

    Integrated global assessment of the natural forest carbon potential

    Mo, Lidong ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3805-7638, Zohner, Constantin M. ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8302-4854, Reich, Peter B. ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4424-662X, Liang, Jingjing ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9439-9320, de Miguel, Sergio ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9738-0657, Nabuurs, Gert-Jan ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9761-074X, Renner, Susanne S. ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3704-0703, van den Hoogen, Johan, Araza, Arnan, Herold, Martin ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0246-6886, Mirzagholi, Leila, Ma, Haozhi ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0709-1438, Averill, Colin ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4035-7760, Phillips, Oliver L ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8993-6168, Gamarra, Javier G. P. ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1290-9559, Hordijk, Iris, Routh, Devin ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5910-8847, Abegg, Meinrad ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5151-5889, Adou Yao, Yves C. ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9408-3497, Alberti, Giorgio ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2422-3009, Almeyda Zambrano, Angelica M., Alvarado, Braulio Vilchez, Alvarez-Dávila, Esteban, Alvarez-Loayza, Patricia, Alves, Luciana F. ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8944-1851, Amaral, Iêda, Ammer, Christian ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4235-0135, Antón-Fernández, Clara ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5545-3320, Araujo-Murakami, Alejandro, Arroyo, Luzmila, Avitabile, Valerio ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3646-052X, Aymard, Gerardo A. ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9405-0508, Baker, Timothy R. ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3251-1679, Bałazy, Radomir, Banki, Olaf ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6197-9951, Barroso, Jorcely G., Bastian, Meredith L. ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0000-9115, Bastin, Jean-Francois ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2602-7247, Birigazzi, Luca, Birnbaum, Philippe ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4830-5500, Bitariho, Robert ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3461-0013, Boeckx, Pascal ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3998-0010, Bongers, Frans ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8431-6189, Bouriaud, Olivier ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8046-466X, Brancalion, Pedro H. S. ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8245-4062, Brandl, Susanne, Brearley, Francis Q, Brienen, Roel ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5397-5755, Broadbent, Eben N., Bruelheide, Helge ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3135-0356, Bussotti, Filippo, Cazzolla Gatti, Roberto, César, Ricardo G., Cesljar, Goran, Chazdon, Robin L ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7349-5687, Chen, Han Y. H. ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9477-5541, Chisholm, Chelsea ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7739-0508, Cho, Hyunkook, Cienciala, Emil ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1254-4254, Clark, Connie, Clark, David, Colletta, Gabriel D, Coomes, David A. ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8261-2582, Cornejo Valverde, Fernando, Corral-Rivas, José J., Crim, Philip M. ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5039-4306, Cumming, Jonathan R., Dayanandan, Selvadurai, de Gasper, André L. ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1940-9581, Decuyper, Mathieu ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1713-8562, Derroire, Géraldine ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7239-2881, DeVries, Ben ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2136-3401, Djordjevic, Ilija, Dolezal, Jiri ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5829-4051, Dourdain, Aurélie, Engone Obiang, Nestor Laurier, Enquist, Brian J ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6124-7096, Eyre, Teresa J., Fandohan, Adandé Belarmain ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8426-6839, Fayle, Tom M., Feldpausch, Ted R, Ferreira, Leandro V, Finér, Leena, Fischer, Markus ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5589-5900, Fletcher, Christine, Frizzera, Lorenzo, Gianelle, Damiano ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7697-5793, Glick, Henry B., Harris, David J. ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6801-2484, Hector, Andrew ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1309-7716, Hemp, Andreas ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5369-2122, Hengeveld, Geerten ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9592-3080, Hérault, Bruno ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6950-7286, Herbohn, John L., Hillers, Annika, Honorio Coronado, Eurídice N ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2314-590X, Hui, Cang ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3660-8160, Ibanez, Thomas, Imai, Nobuo, Jagodziński, Andrzej M. ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6899-0985 and et al (2023) Integrated global assessment of the natural forest carbon potential. Nature, 624 (7990). pp. 92-101. ISSN 0028-0836

    Published Version
    Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

    Download (4MB) | Preview


    Forests are a substantial terrestrial carbon sink, but anthropogenic changes in land use and climate have considerably reduced the scale of this system 1. Remote-sensing estimates to quantify carbon losses from global forests 2–5 are characterized by considerable uncertainty and we lack a comprehensive ground-sourced evaluation to benchmark these estimates. Here we combine several ground-sourced 6 and satellite-derived approaches 2,7,8 to evaluate the scale of the global forest carbon potential outside agricultural and urban lands. Despite regional variation, the predictions demonstrated remarkable consistency at a global scale, with only a 12% difference between the ground-sourced and satellite-derived estimates. At present, global forest carbon storage is markedly under the natural potential, with a total deficit of 226 Gt (model range = 151–363 Gt) in areas with low human footprint. Most (61%, 139 Gt C) of this potential is in areas with existing forests, in which ecosystem protection can allow forests to recover to maturity. The remaining 39% (87 Gt C) of potential lies in regions in which forests have been removed or fragmented. Although forests cannot be a substitute for emissions reductions, our results support the idea 2,3,9 that the conservation, restoration and sustainable management of diverse forests offer valuable contributions to meeting global climate and biodiversity targets.

    Impact and Reach


    Activity Overview
    6 month trend
    6 month trend

    Additional statistics for this dataset are available via IRStats2.


    Repository staff only

    Edit record Edit record