North America’s Boreal Forest is the world’s largest remaining intact, productive ecosystem, encompassing more than a billion and a half acres of pristine forests, wetlands, lakes, rivers and streams. A keystone habitat for the hemisphere’s migratory waterfowl and songbird populations, it also supports vast populations of fish and other wildlife. Moreover, as the world’s most extensive terrestrial carbon sink and largest reservoir of surface water, North America’s Boreal Forest plays a critical role in regulating global climate.
Ducks Unlimited is a leader in the protection and education of the Boreal Forest and is currently working with partners on a three-year study in order to develop a faster method for determining the amount of carbon storage wetlands provide, which will eventually be able to be applied around the globe:
- There is currently a scientific gap in having a proven, practical method for measuring wetland carbon storage. While protocols do exist for upland forests, they don’t for the vastly more productive wetlands. Developing methods to assess carbon within forested wetlands will also help managers understand other environmental benefits. With long-lived tree species and deep deposits of peat, wetlands are unique in the role they play in regulating water quantity and quality and in the biodiversity of their bird and plant life
- The study is supported by the independent, non-profit Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) through its SFI Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant Program. SFI certified Program Participants Louisiana-Pacific Canada Ltd. and Spruce Products are also important contributors, as well as Ducks Unlimited Canada, a recognized leader in wetland conservation, restoration, and management.
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Watch how Ducks Unlimited studies carbon in the Boreal Forest.