A powerful biological tool to combat climate change! A powerful biological tool to combat climate change!

A powerful biological tool to combat climate change!

A powerful biological tool to combat climate change!
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Large bison could be a powerful tool in fighting climate change and reshaping ecosystems, a bizarre study has found.

The team revealed that a herd of just 170 bison can store an amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent to removing about two million cars from the public road for a year, according to a new model developed by scientists at the Yale School of the Environment, which shows how the animals help mitigate the worst effects of... Climate crisis.

The study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, highlights the importance of wildlife conservation in promoting healthy ecosystems.

The European bison disappeared from Romania more than 200 years ago, but Rewilding Europe and WWF Romania reintroduced the species to the Southern Carpathians in 2014. Since then, more than 100 bison have been given a new habitat in the Sarcu Mountains. And their number increased to more than 170.

The model developed by scientists at the Yale School of the Environment calculates the additional carbon dioxide that animals like bison help capture and store in the soil through their natural behaviors and interactions within ecosystems.

The scientists found that a European bison herd grazing in an area of ​​about 50 square kilometers of grassland within the wider Sarco Mountains potentially attracts an additional two million tons of carbon annually, which corresponds to the annual carbon dioxide emissions produced by 1.88 million gasoline cars on average. in the United States.

“Bison influence grassland and forest ecosystems by evenly grazing the grasslands, recycling nutrients to fertilize the soil and all life in it, and dispersing seeds to enrich the ecosystem,” explained lead author of the study, Professor Oswald Schmitz from the Yale School of the Environment in Connecticut, US. and soil compaction to prevent the release of stored carbon.

He added: “These creatures have co-evolved over millions of years with grassland and forest ecosystems, and their removal, especially when grasslands are plowed, has released huge amounts of carbon. Restoring these ecosystems could restore balance, and bison are brought back to life.” "Wilderness are some of the climate champions who can help make this happen."

Alexander Lees, a reader in biodiversity at Manchester Metropolitan University who was not involved in the study, noted that the findings “present a compelling case for the reintroduction of European bison as a nature-based climate solution, one that has significant co-benefits for biodiversity conservation.”

Leys stressed that further field research would help validate the models and help understand how long bison's benefits will last, adding: “This study reinforces the emerging consensus that large mammals have very important roles in the carbon cycle. “Wilderness, where appropriate, are key tools in addressing the intertwined biodiversity and climate crises.”

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