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Storms can cause Europe-wide reduction in forest carbon sink

Lindroth, Anders LU ; Lagergren, Fredrik LU ; Grelle, Achim; Klemedtsson, Leif; Langvall, Ola; Weslien, Per and Tuulik, Janno LU (2009) In Global Change Biology 15(2). p.346-355
Abstract
Disturbance of ecosystems is a major factor in regional carbon budgets, and it is believed to be partly responsible for the large inter-annual variability of the terrestrial part of the carbon balance. Forest fires have so far been considered as the most important disturbance but also other forms of disturbance such as insect outbreaks or wind-throw might contribute significantly to the largely unexplained inter-annual variability, at least in specific regions. The effect of wind-throw has not yet been estimated because of lack of data on how carbon fluxes are affected. The Gudrun storm, which hit Sweden in January 2005, resulted in ca. 66 million m(3) of wind-thrown stem wood on an area of ca. 272 000 ha. Using a model (BIOME-BGC)... (More)
Disturbance of ecosystems is a major factor in regional carbon budgets, and it is believed to be partly responsible for the large inter-annual variability of the terrestrial part of the carbon balance. Forest fires have so far been considered as the most important disturbance but also other forms of disturbance such as insect outbreaks or wind-throw might contribute significantly to the largely unexplained inter-annual variability, at least in specific regions. The effect of wind-throw has not yet been estimated because of lack of data on how carbon fluxes are affected. The Gudrun storm, which hit Sweden in January 2005, resulted in ca. 66 million m(3) of wind-thrown stem wood on an area of ca. 272 000 ha. Using a model (BIOME-BGC) calibrated to CO2 flux measurements at two sites, the annual net ecosystem productivity during the first year after the storm was estimated to be in the range -897 to -1259 g C m(-2) yr(-1). This is a much higher loss compared with harvested (clear-cut) forests in Europe, which ranged between ca. -420 and -100 g m(-2) yr(-1). The reduction in the carbon sink scaled to the whole wind-thrown area was estimated at ca. 3 million tons C during the first year. By historical data on wind-throw in Europe combined with modelling, we estimated that the large Lothar storm in 1999 reduced the European carbon balance by ca. 16 million tons C, this is ca. 30% of the net biome production in Europe. We conclude that the impact of increased forest damage by more frequent storms in future climate change scenarios must be considered and that intermittent large wind-throw events may explain a part of the large inter-annual variability in the terrestrial carbon sink. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
respiration, eddy covariance, carbon balance, Gudrun, modelling, production, net ecosystem, Sweden, wind-throw
in
Global Change Biology
volume
15
issue
2
pages
346 - 355
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • wos:000262510500005
  • scopus:58549110456
ISSN
1354-1013
DOI
10.1111/j.1365-2486.2008.01719.x
project
Climate Initiative
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
88a83dd1-6e0c-40e3-b018-e434d340faee (old id 1312601)
date added to LUP
2009-03-13 13:07:56
date last changed
2017-12-10 03:40:32
@article{88a83dd1-6e0c-40e3-b018-e434d340faee,
  abstract     = {Disturbance of ecosystems is a major factor in regional carbon budgets, and it is believed to be partly responsible for the large inter-annual variability of the terrestrial part of the carbon balance. Forest fires have so far been considered as the most important disturbance but also other forms of disturbance such as insect outbreaks or wind-throw might contribute significantly to the largely unexplained inter-annual variability, at least in specific regions. The effect of wind-throw has not yet been estimated because of lack of data on how carbon fluxes are affected. The Gudrun storm, which hit Sweden in January 2005, resulted in ca. 66 million m(3) of wind-thrown stem wood on an area of ca. 272 000 ha. Using a model (BIOME-BGC) calibrated to CO2 flux measurements at two sites, the annual net ecosystem productivity during the first year after the storm was estimated to be in the range -897 to -1259 g C m(-2) yr(-1). This is a much higher loss compared with harvested (clear-cut) forests in Europe, which ranged between ca. -420 and -100 g m(-2) yr(-1). The reduction in the carbon sink scaled to the whole wind-thrown area was estimated at ca. 3 million tons C during the first year. By historical data on wind-throw in Europe combined with modelling, we estimated that the large Lothar storm in 1999 reduced the European carbon balance by ca. 16 million tons C, this is ca. 30% of the net biome production in Europe. We conclude that the impact of increased forest damage by more frequent storms in future climate change scenarios must be considered and that intermittent large wind-throw events may explain a part of the large inter-annual variability in the terrestrial carbon sink.},
  author       = {Lindroth, Anders and Lagergren, Fredrik and Grelle, Achim and Klemedtsson, Leif and Langvall, Ola and Weslien, Per and Tuulik, Janno},
  issn         = {1354-1013},
  keyword      = {respiration,eddy covariance,carbon balance,Gudrun,modelling,production,net ecosystem,Sweden,wind-throw},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {346--355},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {Global Change Biology},
  title        = {Storms can cause Europe-wide reduction in forest carbon sink},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2486.2008.01719.x},
  volume       = {15},
  year         = {2009},
}