Animating the Carbon Cycle

Animals influence the carbon cycle in myriad ways. Herbivores, for example, affect the exchange of carbon between ecosystems and the atmosphere through their grazing, by redistributing seeds and nutrients over vast areas of land and sea, and by trampling and compacting soils and sediments. They can have a positive impact on climate change by increasing the amount of carbon drawn down and stored in plants, preventing outbreaks of wildfire, protecting against permafrost thawing, and increasing soil and sediment-based carbon retention.

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