There’s carbon in them there trees?
Sampling to measure carbon in plants. Photo courtesy Barry Heydenrych.
We know that every planting program produces trees and shrubs that sequester carbon, but we don’t know how much carbon. If we had that extra bit of knowledge, then it’s possible the emerging carbon market may help fund the much needed restoration work across Gondwana Link. As part of the Shell-Greening Australia Reconnections project, Greening’s Barry Heydenrych is working to measure the carbon in key species. The work involves destructive carbon sampling of selected plants by reducing them to piles of dried sticks (roots and all) to which you add some existing science and mathematics, supported by the Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Accounting, to deduce the carbon content.