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Gold mining restricts Amazon rainforest recovery

Gold mining significantly limits the regrowth of Amazon forests, greatly reducing their ability to accumulate carbon, according to a new study. The researchers warn that the impacts of mining on tropical forests are long-lasting and that active land management and restoration will be necessary to recover tropical forests on previously mined lands.

Gold mining has rapidly increased across the Amazon in recent years, especially along the Guiana Shield, where it is responsible for as much as 90% of total deforestation. The Shield encompasses Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Venezuela and small parts of Colombia and northern Brazil, and its forests hold roughly twenty billion tonnes of aboveground carbon in its trees.

Please find out more on a recently published article by lead author Dr Michelle Kalamandeen of the University of Cambridge University here.

Press release supplied by Dr Michelle Kalamandeen.  

The paper Limited biomass recovery from gold mining in Amazonian forests is published in Journal of Applied Ecology 29 June 2020  

Image: Initial forest loss at a gold mining site at Mahdia, Guyana. Credit: Dr Michelle Kalamandeen, 2016.

 

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