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Nitrogen feedbacks increase future terrestrial ecosystem carbon uptake in an individual-based dynamic vegetation model

Wårlind, David LU ; Smith, Benjamin LU ; Hickler, Thomas and Arneth, Almut (2014) In Biogeosciences 11(21). p.6131-6146
Abstract
Recently a considerable amount of effort has been put into quantifying how interactions of the carbon and nitrogen cycle affect future terrestrial carbon sinks. Dynamic vegetation models, representing the nitrogen cycle with varying degree of complexity, have shown diverging constraints of nitrogen dynamics on future carbon sequestration. In this study, we use LPJ-GUESS, a dynamic vegetation model employing a detailed individual- and patch-based representation of vegetation dynamics, to evaluate how population dynamics and resource competition between plant functional types, combined with nitrogen dynamics, have influenced the terrestrial carbon storage in the past and to investigate how terrestrial carbon and nitrogen dynamics might... (More)
Recently a considerable amount of effort has been put into quantifying how interactions of the carbon and nitrogen cycle affect future terrestrial carbon sinks. Dynamic vegetation models, representing the nitrogen cycle with varying degree of complexity, have shown diverging constraints of nitrogen dynamics on future carbon sequestration. In this study, we use LPJ-GUESS, a dynamic vegetation model employing a detailed individual- and patch-based representation of vegetation dynamics, to evaluate how population dynamics and resource competition between plant functional types, combined with nitrogen dynamics, have influenced the terrestrial carbon storage in the past and to investigate how terrestrial carbon and nitrogen dynamics might change in the future (1850 to 2100; one representative "business-as-usual" climate scenario). Single-factor model experiments of CO2 fertilisation and climate change show generally similar directions of the responses of C–N interactions, compared to the C-only version of the model as documented in previous studies using other global models. Under an RCP 8.5 scenario, nitrogen limitation suppresses potential CO2 fertilisation, reducing the cumulative net ecosystem carbon uptake between 1850 and 2100 by 61%, and soil warming-induced increase in nitrogen mineralisation reduces terrestrial carbon loss by 31%. When environmental changes are considered conjointly, carbon sequestration is limited by nitrogen dynamics up to the present. However, during the 21st century, nitrogen dynamics induce a net increase in carbon sequestration, resulting in an overall larger carbon uptake of 17% over the full period. This contrasts with previous results with other global models that have shown an 8 to 37% decrease in carbon uptake relative to modern baseline conditions. Implications for the plausibility of earlier projections of future terrestrial C dynamics based on C-only models are discussed. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Biogeosciences
volume
11
issue
21
pages
6131 - 6146
publisher
Copernicus Publications
external identifiers
  • wos:000344649700010
  • scopus:84898401361
ISSN
1726-4189
DOI
10.5194/bg-11-6131-2014
project
MERGE
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
2c155bfb-ec76-438b-a2e9-e365c6062288 (old id 4857358)
alternative location
http://www.biogeosciences.net/11/6131/2014/
date added to LUP
2014-12-05 14:05:38
date last changed
2017-08-27 03:28:33
@article{2c155bfb-ec76-438b-a2e9-e365c6062288,
  abstract     = {Recently a considerable amount of effort has been put into quantifying how interactions of the carbon and nitrogen cycle affect future terrestrial carbon sinks. Dynamic vegetation models, representing the nitrogen cycle with varying degree of complexity, have shown diverging constraints of nitrogen dynamics on future carbon sequestration. In this study, we use LPJ-GUESS, a dynamic vegetation model employing a detailed individual- and patch-based representation of vegetation dynamics, to evaluate how population dynamics and resource competition between plant functional types, combined with nitrogen dynamics, have influenced the terrestrial carbon storage in the past and to investigate how terrestrial carbon and nitrogen dynamics might change in the future (1850 to 2100; one representative "business-as-usual" climate scenario). Single-factor model experiments of CO2 fertilisation and climate change show generally similar directions of the responses of C–N interactions, compared to the C-only version of the model as documented in previous studies using other global models. Under an RCP 8.5 scenario, nitrogen limitation suppresses potential CO2 fertilisation, reducing the cumulative net ecosystem carbon uptake between 1850 and 2100 by 61%, and soil warming-induced increase in nitrogen mineralisation reduces terrestrial carbon loss by 31%. When environmental changes are considered conjointly, carbon sequestration is limited by nitrogen dynamics up to the present. However, during the 21st century, nitrogen dynamics induce a net increase in carbon sequestration, resulting in an overall larger carbon uptake of 17% over the full period. This contrasts with previous results with other global models that have shown an 8 to 37% decrease in carbon uptake relative to modern baseline conditions. Implications for the plausibility of earlier projections of future terrestrial C dynamics based on C-only models are discussed.},
  author       = {Wårlind, David and Smith, Benjamin and Hickler, Thomas and Arneth, Almut},
  issn         = {1726-4189},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {21},
  pages        = {6131--6146},
  publisher    = {Copernicus Publications},
  series       = {Biogeosciences},
  title        = {Nitrogen feedbacks increase future terrestrial ecosystem carbon uptake in an individual-based dynamic vegetation model},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.5194/bg-11-6131-2014},
  volume       = {11},
  year         = {2014},
}