Diverse scientific studies suggest that there is some potential in native forests and
plantation forests for mitigating atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions in an equivalent
amount of 11 to 15 % of the fossil fuels emissions during the same time (G. M. Woodwell,
1978). To achieve those mitigation goals in a sustainable way countries should implement
suitable management practices for conserving forest lands, and both enhancing and keeping
the carbon sequestration power of global forests. Three obvious options for the latter are
stopping deforestation, expanding the forest area, and increasing the carbon stock in
existing forests (S. Brown et al., 1996).
In the present paper I present the results of applying twenty six forest models to explore
diverse alternatives for mitigating atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions in Argentina. Sets
of models for reforesting or afforesting degraded lands, implementing sustainable
management practices on existing forest lands, or slowing native deforestation were built
based on the characteristics of each one of six ecoregions the country had been divided; i.e.
the Selva Misionera, Pradera Pampeana, Delta bonaerense y entrerriano, Patagonia Andina,
Selva Tucumano-Boliviana, and Parque Chaqueño (Inventarios Nacionales de Bosques
Nativos 2002 y Plantaciones Forestales 2001; K. Huek 1957 – 1966; and P. Seibert 1988).
The models of afforestation and implementation of sustainable management practices were
applied to degraded lands in the regions Selva Misionera, Delta bonarense y entrerriano,
Pradera Pampeana, and Patagonia.
I have found that the CO2-capture capacity estimated for those regions was
193,321tonnes/(ha.year). The Parque Chaqueño was found to be a source of CO2 in the
amount of 35,301,730 tonnes CO2/year (I. Gasparri y E. Mangghi, 2004). The sink capacity
of the Selva Tucumano-Boliviana is being steadily decreased due to deforestation: the
actual balance is estimated to be 43,128,840 tonnes CO2/year, or 30 % less than 15 years
ago. The total CO2 capture capacity summed over the 26 models was 533,626 tonnes CO2