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Can increased weathering rates due to future warming compensate for base cation losses following whole-tree harvesting in spruce forests?

Akselsson, Cecilia LU ; Olsson, Jonas; Belyazid, Salim LU and Capell, René (2016) In Biogeochemistry 128(1-2). p.89-105
Abstract

Whole-tree harvesting, i.e. harvesting of stems, branches and tops, has become increasingly common during recent decades due to the increased demand for renewable energy. Whole-tree harvesting leads to an increase in base cation losses from the ecosystem, which can counteract recovery from acidification. An increase in weathering rates due to higher temperatures is sometimes suggested as a process that may counteract the acidifying effect of whole-tree harvesting. In this study the potential effect of increasing temperature on weathering rates was compared with the increase in base cation losses following whole-tree harvesting in spruce forests, along a temperature gradient in Sweden. The mechanistic model PROFILE was used to estimate... (More)

Whole-tree harvesting, i.e. harvesting of stems, branches and tops, has become increasingly common during recent decades due to the increased demand for renewable energy. Whole-tree harvesting leads to an increase in base cation losses from the ecosystem, which can counteract recovery from acidification. An increase in weathering rates due to higher temperatures is sometimes suggested as a process that may counteract the acidifying effect of whole-tree harvesting. In this study the potential effect of increasing temperature on weathering rates was compared with the increase in base cation losses following whole-tree harvesting in spruce forests, along a temperature gradient in Sweden. The mechanistic model PROFILE was used to estimate weathering rates at National Forest Inventory sites at today’s temperature and the temperature in 2050, as estimated by two different climate projections. The same dataset was used to calculate base cation losses following stem-only and whole-tree harvesting. The calculations showed that the increase in temperature until 2050 would result in an increase in the base cation weathering rate of 20–33 %, and that whole-tree harvesting would lead to an increase in base cation losses of 66 % on average, compared to stem-only harvesting. A sensitivity analysis showed that moisture changes are important for future weathering rates, but the effect of the temperature change was dominating even when the most extreme moisture changes were applied. It was concluded that an increase in weathering rates resulting from higher temperatures would not compensate for the increase in base cation losses following whole-tree harvesting, except in the northernmost part of Sweden.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Acidification, Climate change, Forest fuels, Weathering, Whole-tree harvesting
in
Biogeochemistry
volume
128
issue
1-2
pages
17 pages
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • scopus:84960431658
  • wos:000374557300006
ISSN
0168-2563
DOI
10.1007/s10533-016-0196-6
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
2d37c661-3faa-408b-9a24-46b81fb0840e
date added to LUP
2016-09-19 11:17:10
date last changed
2017-01-08 05:59:05
@article{2d37c661-3faa-408b-9a24-46b81fb0840e,
  abstract     = {<p>Whole-tree harvesting, i.e. harvesting of stems, branches and tops, has become increasingly common during recent decades due to the increased demand for renewable energy. Whole-tree harvesting leads to an increase in base cation losses from the ecosystem, which can counteract recovery from acidification. An increase in weathering rates due to higher temperatures is sometimes suggested as a process that may counteract the acidifying effect of whole-tree harvesting. In this study the potential effect of increasing temperature on weathering rates was compared with the increase in base cation losses following whole-tree harvesting in spruce forests, along a temperature gradient in Sweden. The mechanistic model PROFILE was used to estimate weathering rates at National Forest Inventory sites at today’s temperature and the temperature in 2050, as estimated by two different climate projections. The same dataset was used to calculate base cation losses following stem-only and whole-tree harvesting. The calculations showed that the increase in temperature until 2050 would result in an increase in the base cation weathering rate of 20–33 %, and that whole-tree harvesting would lead to an increase in base cation losses of 66 % on average, compared to stem-only harvesting. A sensitivity analysis showed that moisture changes are important for future weathering rates, but the effect of the temperature change was dominating even when the most extreme moisture changes were applied. It was concluded that an increase in weathering rates resulting from higher temperatures would not compensate for the increase in base cation losses following whole-tree harvesting, except in the northernmost part of Sweden.</p>},
  author       = {Akselsson, Cecilia and Olsson, Jonas and Belyazid, Salim and Capell, René},
  issn         = {0168-2563},
  keyword      = {Acidification,Climate change,Forest fuels,Weathering,Whole-tree harvesting},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {03},
  number       = {1-2},
  pages        = {89--105},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Biogeochemistry},
  title        = {Can increased weathering rates due to future warming compensate for base cation losses following whole-tree harvesting in spruce forests?},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10533-016-0196-6},
  volume       = {128},
  year         = {2016},
}