ForestGEO Soils Program
Soils play a central role in the global carbon cycle because they contain four times more carbon than the biosphere and three times more than the atmosphere. In tropical forests, about as much carbon is stored in the surface meter of soil as in the vegetation, yet little is known about the likely response of soil carbon to changes in climate or forest dynamics. As part of the HSBC Climate Partnership, soil carbon is being studied in tropical rainforests throughout Asia and the Americas. The results will help scientists understand what controls the amount of carbon sequestered in tropical forest soils and how this might change following future shifts in global climate. The Soils Program involves detailed studies of large forest dynamics plots in Asia, Africa, and the Americas.