U.S. drugs can contribute over $ 100 billion in savings through environmental benefits – but face growing threats

U.S. pharmaceuticals could contribute over $ 100 billion in savings through environmental benefits - but face growing threats

Oak tree (Quercus ellipsoidalis) is under threat from oak disease (Bretziella fagacearum). Courtesy: Jeannine Cavender-Bares (CC-BY 4.0, creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

The idea of ​​ecological services is to allow researchers to quantify the benefits that nature provides to people in financial institutions. A study will be published April 5 in an open-access journal Maintenance and modification of PLOS by Jeannine Cavender-Bares and Stephen Polasky at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul, the United States, and colleagues say that trees provide more valuable value when used to regulate climate and air quality than the value they produce as a plant. fruits, vegetables, and Christmas trees.

Trees absorb and store green gases, filter out air pollutants, provide wood, food, and other products, among other benefits. However, the service value of 400 individual tree species and linear plants growing in contiguous forests and plants in the U.S. has not been previously known. To determine the ecological service value of U.S. medicines, the researchers documented the value of trees and calculated the economic contributions to these services of each U.S. medicinal species and generations. They measured the value of tree -related ecological services by calculating the value of the benefits provided, minus the actual costs incurred for providing these services. The five most important ecological services are the management of the atmosphere from the carbon emissions, the filtering of pollutants from the air that are harmful to human health, and the provision of services from the industry. in wood products, foods, and Christmas trees.

Researchers have found that the value of these five ecological services produced by trees is $ 114 billion annually. Carbon conservation in tree biomass accounts for 51% of the annual value, while preventing human health risks by improving air quality, accounted for 37% of the total. the annual value. The remainder is 12% of annual sales from supply chain services. Trees in the pine and oak families are the richest, generating $ 25.4 billion and $ 22.3 billion in annual net benefits, respectively. The study found some limitations placed on the undervaluing of ecological services because the researchers did not have access to data for ecological services such as erosion control, erosion management. water, and energy conservation associated with shade. They did not evaluate the harmful effects of the drugs. Future studies may provide accurate estimates of the financial value of these benefits.

According to the authors, “This study shows that the‘ hidden ’value of trees – the non -commercial value from carbon storage and air purification – outweighs their value. sales.The number of global change threats.

Cavender-Bares adds, “The fact that tree lines grow to occupy diverse ecological niches across the country is critical to maintaining the ecological services we rely on for. Our research team found that climate change threatens about 90 percent of plant species, while pests and pathogens affect 40 percent of all plant species. U.S. trees risk from pests and pathogens, climate change, and increased fire. ”

Reforestation should guide consumers between environmental and timber production goals.

More information:
Cavender-Bares JM, Nelson E, Meireles JE, Lasky JR, Miteva DA, Nowak DJ, et al. (2022) The hidden value of trees: Enumerating the ecological services of tree lines and their major threat among the contiguous U.S.. PLOS Sustain Transform 1 (4): e0000010. doi.org/10.1371/journal.pstr.0000010

Contributed by the Public Library of Science

Directions: U.S. drugs can contribute over $ 100 billion in savings through environmental benefits – but face growth threats (2022, April 5) Retrieved 5 April 2022 from https:/ /phys.org/news/2022-04-trees-billion-dollars-environmental-benefitsbut.html

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