The role of the world’s forests as a “sink” for atmospheric carbon dioxide is the subject of active debate. Long-term monitoring of plots in mature humid tropical forests concentrated in South America revealed that biomass gain by tree growth exceeded losses from tree death in 38 out of 50 neotropical sites. These forest plots have accumulated 0.71 + 0.34 tons of carbon per hectare per year in recent decades. The data suggest that neotropical forests may be a significant carbon sink, reducing the rate of increase in atmospheric CO2
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