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Trees outside of forests as natural climate solutions

Trees outside of forests are numerous and can be important carbon sinks, while also providing ecosystem services and benefits to livelihoods. New monitoring tools highlight the crucial contribution they can make to strategies for both mitigation and adaptation.

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Fig. 1: Trees outside of forests in central Malawi.

D. L. Skole.

Fig. 2: Country-scale assessment of trees in Rwanda using digital aerial photos and an example of digital satellite–derived data coverage of savannah ecosystems in Senegal.

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This work was funded by NASA’s Land Cover and Land Use Change Program, NASA grants 80NSSC21K0315 and 80NSSC20K0263, and the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme (grant agreement no. 947757 TOFDRY) and a DFF Sapere Aude grant (no. 9064–00049B). The work was also supported by the University of Copenhagen, University of Pretoria and Michigan State University.

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All authors contributed equally to the work. D.L.S conceived of the manuscript; D.L.S, M.S.B, C.M., M.M. and J.H.S. contributed to the writing, review and editing. MM. and J.H.S contributed technical analysis of data. All authors share the views expressed in this comment.

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Correspondence to David L. Skole.

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Skole, D.L., Mbow, C., Mugabowindekwe, M. et al. Trees outside of forests as natural climate solutions. Nat. Clim. Chang. 11, 1013–1016 (2021).

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