rimu and miro in the whakatikei river valley
Are our native trees adding to or reducing New Zealand’s carbon emissions? That’s the question Rotorua scientists are hoping to answer with one of their current research projects.
Two projects investigating native trees and carbon emissions are underway at Ensis, the unincorporated joint venture between Crown Research Institute Scion in Rotorua, and Australia’s CSIRO.
Dr Peter Beets, senior scientist at Ensis, is leading a research programme looking at developing tools to predict native tree carbon emissions. “Our aim is to work out the amount of carbon that is being absorbed by living trees and the amount of carbon that is being released when trees die and decay.
“We hope to find out if native trees actually reduce the country’s overall emissions at all, or if the emissions the trees make just cancels any benefit,” Dr Beets says.