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Historical and future quantification of terrestrial carbon sequestration from a Greenhouse-Gas-Value perspective

Bayer, Anita D. ; Pugh, Thomas A.M. LU ; Krause, Andreas and Arneth, Almut LU (2015) In Global Environmental Change 32. p.153-164
Abstract

Terrestrial ecosystems provide a range of important services to humans, including global and regional climate regulation. These services arise from natural ecosystem functioning as governed by drivers such as climate, atmospheric carbon dioxide mixing ratio, and land-use change. From the perspective of carbon sequestration, numerous studies have assessed trends and projections of the past and future terrestrial carbon cycle, but links to the ecosystem service concept have been hindered by the lack of appropriate quantitative service metrics. The recently introduced concept of the Greenhouse Gas Value (GHGV) accounts for the land-atmosphere exchanges of multiple greenhouse gases by taking into consideration the associated ecosystem pool... (More)

Terrestrial ecosystems provide a range of important services to humans, including global and regional climate regulation. These services arise from natural ecosystem functioning as governed by drivers such as climate, atmospheric carbon dioxide mixing ratio, and land-use change. From the perspective of carbon sequestration, numerous studies have assessed trends and projections of the past and future terrestrial carbon cycle, but links to the ecosystem service concept have been hindered by the lack of appropriate quantitative service metrics. The recently introduced concept of the Greenhouse Gas Value (GHGV) accounts for the land-atmosphere exchanges of multiple greenhouse gases by taking into consideration the associated ecosystem pool sizes, annual exchange fluxes and probable effects of natural disturbance in a time-sensitive manner.We use here GHGV as an indicator for the carbon sequestration aspects of the climate regulation ecosystem service, and quantify it at global scale using the LPJ-GUESS dynamic global vegetation model. The response of ecosystem dynamics and ecosystem state variables to trends in climate, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and land use simulated by LPJ-GUESS are used to calculate the contribution of carbon dioxide to GHGV. We evaluate global variations in GHGV over historical periods and for future scenarios (1850-2100) on a biome basis following a high and a low emission scenario.GHGV is found to vary substantially depending on the biogeochemical processes represented in LPJ-GUESS (e.g. carbon-nitrogen coupling, representation of land use). The consideration of disturbance events that occur as part of an ecosystem's natural dynamics is crucial for realistic GHGV assessments; their omission results in unrealistically high GHGV. By considering the biome-specific response to current climate and land use, and their projections for the future, we highlight the importance of all forest biomes for maintaining and increasing biogeochemical carbon sequestration. Under future climate and carbon dioxide levels following a high emission scenario GHGV values are projected to increase, especially so in tropical forests, but land-use change (e.g. deforestation) opposes this trend. The GHGV of ecosystems, especially when assessed over large areas, is an appropriate metric to assess the contribution of different greenhouse gases to climate and forms a basis for the monetary valuation of the climate regulation service ecosystems provide.

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author
; ; and
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Carbon sequestration, Climate regulation, Ecosystem services, Greenhouse gas value, Land-use change, LPJ-GUESS
in
Global Environmental Change
volume
32
pages
12 pages
publisher
Global Environmental Change, Elsevier
external identifiers
  • scopus:84929158891
ISSN
0959-3780
DOI
10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2015.03.004
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
022cf982-f8f6-46ca-86d0-95b8cefefedf
date added to LUP
2020-11-19 23:06:30
date last changed
2021-01-30 14:23:06
@article{022cf982-f8f6-46ca-86d0-95b8cefefedf,
  abstract     = {<p>Terrestrial ecosystems provide a range of important services to humans, including global and regional climate regulation. These services arise from natural ecosystem functioning as governed by drivers such as climate, atmospheric carbon dioxide mixing ratio, and land-use change. From the perspective of carbon sequestration, numerous studies have assessed trends and projections of the past and future terrestrial carbon cycle, but links to the ecosystem service concept have been hindered by the lack of appropriate quantitative service metrics. The recently introduced concept of the Greenhouse Gas Value (GHGV) accounts for the land-atmosphere exchanges of multiple greenhouse gases by taking into consideration the associated ecosystem pool sizes, annual exchange fluxes and probable effects of natural disturbance in a time-sensitive manner.We use here GHGV as an indicator for the carbon sequestration aspects of the climate regulation ecosystem service, and quantify it at global scale using the LPJ-GUESS dynamic global vegetation model. The response of ecosystem dynamics and ecosystem state variables to trends in climate, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and land use simulated by LPJ-GUESS are used to calculate the contribution of carbon dioxide to GHGV. We evaluate global variations in GHGV over historical periods and for future scenarios (1850-2100) on a biome basis following a high and a low emission scenario.GHGV is found to vary substantially depending on the biogeochemical processes represented in LPJ-GUESS (e.g. carbon-nitrogen coupling, representation of land use). The consideration of disturbance events that occur as part of an ecosystem's natural dynamics is crucial for realistic GHGV assessments; their omission results in unrealistically high GHGV. By considering the biome-specific response to current climate and land use, and their projections for the future, we highlight the importance of all forest biomes for maintaining and increasing biogeochemical carbon sequestration. Under future climate and carbon dioxide levels following a high emission scenario GHGV values are projected to increase, especially so in tropical forests, but land-use change (e.g. deforestation) opposes this trend. The GHGV of ecosystems, especially when assessed over large areas, is an appropriate metric to assess the contribution of different greenhouse gases to climate and forms a basis for the monetary valuation of the climate regulation service ecosystems provide.</p>},
  author       = {Bayer, Anita D. and Pugh, Thomas A.M. and Krause, Andreas and Arneth, Almut},
  issn         = {0959-3780},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {05},
  pages        = {153--164},
  publisher    = {Global Environmental Change, Elsevier},
  series       = {Global Environmental Change},
  title        = {Historical and future quantification of terrestrial carbon sequestration from a Greenhouse-Gas-Value perspective},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2015.03.004},
  doi          = {10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2015.03.004},
  volume       = {32},
  year         = {2015},
}