- Well, first off (wonder of wonders), it appears that old growth forests are more effective carbon sinks than new growth forests. (article) As this article states, research shows that no matter how aged old growth forests are, they continue to absorb an excess of carbon dioxide. Althoug new "fast-growth"
tree plantations (i.e. Eucalyptus) may be effective as temporary sinks, they "may reach a climax state in a matter of decades." Beyond this, the new growth forests cannot account for the carbon dioxide reserves that old growth forests store in the soil (from decaying leaves, roots, etc.) over the centuries. These reserves are disrupted during deforestation, causing a massive release of carbon dioxide
into the atmosphere, that would take decades to reclaim and restore.
- Below are some materials which I have not been able to research in depth, but of which I can give a brief description:
- PDF - A document that outlines the "ecological impact of pastures and forage plants in tropical land use systems." It appears that this document will be a substantial resource for the biological, physical, and chemical components of soil as well as "erosion control," "nutrient cycling," and soil restoration principles.
- PDF - This document appears to outline some research into the suitability of certain tree species (about 20 different species) for reforestation strategies. Note: This document refers to reforestation in Panama, but may be applicable to the Amazon.
- PDF - I'm not entirely sure what this document is (besides a 421-page Congress Scientific Committee [?] PDF file on forestry and science), but I did see topics on reforestation and soil chemistry. This looks like it may be a very "scientific" reference.
- PDF - Again, I'm not sure about the relevance of the contents of this document. Apparently, it's sort of a transcript of a "Convention on Biological Diversity," with its "main theme" being "forest biological diversity."
- PDF - This document evaluates "nursery" and reforestation strategies as applied in Costa Rica, complete with statistics and all. :-D A comparison between the Amazon and Costa Rica could make this a valuable resource.
- PDF - Well now, if this doesn't take the cake, I don't know what does. What could be more useful than a 16-page PDF file titled "Reforestation Basics?"