Lutz, J.A., Furniss, T.J., Johnson, D.J., 2018. Global importance of large diameter trees. Global Ecol Biogeogr. 2018: 1-16.


Summary: Because large-diameter trees constitute roughly half of the mature forest bio-mass worldwide, their dynamics and sensitivities to environmental change represent potentially large controls on global forest carbon cycling. We recommend managing forests for conservation of existing large-diameter trees or those that can soon reach large diameters as a simple way to conserve and potentially enhance ecosystem services.

Key excerpts:

  • “The relationship between the large-diameter threshold and overall bio- mass (Figure 2a) suggests that forests cannot sequester large amounts of aboveground carbon without large trees…”.
  • “Large- diameter tree richness in tropical forests suggests more resilience to projected climate warming in two ways. First, absolute large-diameter tree richness was highest in tropical forests, suggesting that the large- diameter tree guild may have different adaptations that will allow at least some species to persist (Musavi et al., 2017). Secondly, the pool of species that can reach large diameters may have been undersampled in the plots used here, implying an even higher level of richness may exist in some forests than captured in these analyses.