This article was originally published on EurekAlert!


“In the mid-1990s, 1,000 truckloads of orange peels and orange pulp were purposefully unloaded onto a barren pasture in a Costa Rican national park. Today, that area is covered in lush, vine-laden forest.

A team led by Princeton University researchers surveyed the land 16 years after the orange peels were deposited. They found a 176 percent increase in aboveground biomass — or the wood in the trees — within the 3-hectare area (7 acres) studied. Their results are published in the journal Restoration Ecology.

This story, which involves a contentious lawsuit, showcases the unique power of agricultural waste to not only regenerate a forest but also to sequester a significant amount of carbon at no cost. “This is one of the only instances I’ve ever heard of where you can have cost-negative carbon sequestration,” said Timothy Treuer, co-lead author of the study and a graduate student in Princeton’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. “It’s not just a win-win between the company and the local park — it’s a win for everyone.”…”

(Credit: Daniel Janzen and Winnie Hallwachs)

Journal reference: dx.doi.org/10.1111/rec.12565

Read on at: EurekAlert!