Role of Animals in Carbon Storage Explored in Research

Research published in Science explored the role of animals in an ecosystem’s ability to store carbon. An interdisciplinary international team of researchers found that the presence of wild animals in a landscape could increase or decrease rates of biogeochemical processes by 15% to 250% or more, by triggering feedback effects that relate to the landscape’s capacity to absorb, release, or transport carbon. This research indicated a need to account for the role of animals in carbon-cycle modeling and efforts to predict and mange carbon cycling on a landscape scale.