Land use change and nitrogen feedbacks constrain the trajectory of the land carbon sink

Gerber, Stefan; Hedin, Lars O.; Keel, Sonja Gisela Yin; Pacala, Stephen W.; Shevliakova, Elena (2013). Land use change and nitrogen feedbacks constrain the trajectory of the land carbon sink. Geophysical Research Letters, 40(19), pp. 5218-5222. American Geophysical Union 10.1002/grl.50957

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Our understanding of Earth's carbon climate system depends critically upon interactions between rising atmospheric CO2, changing land use, and nitrogen limitation on vegetation growth. Using a global land model, we show how these factors interact locally to generate the global land carbon sink over the past 200 years. Nitrogen constraints were alleviated by N2 fixation in the tropics and by atmospheric nitrogen deposition in extratropical regions. Nonlinear interactions between land use change and land carbon and nitrogen cycling originated from three major mechanisms: (i) a sink foregone that would have occurred without land use conversion; (ii) an accelerated response of secondary vegetation to CO2 and nitrogen, and (iii) a compounded clearance loss from deforestation. Over time, these nonlinear effects have become increasingly important and reduce the present-day net carbon sink by ~40% or 0.4 PgC yr−1.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Climate and Environmental Physics
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)

UniBE Contributor:

Keel, Sonja Gisela Yin

Subjects:

500 Science > 530 Physics

ISSN:

0094-8276

Publisher:

American Geophysical Union

Language:

English

Submitter:

Monika Wälti-Stampfli

Date Deposited:

25 Sep 2014 12:49

Last Modified:

18 Sep 2015 15:05

Publisher DOI:

10.1002/grl.50957

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.49627

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/49627

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