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The human footprint in the carbon cycle of temperate and boreal forests

Magnani, F; Mencuccini, M; Borghetti, M; Berbigier, P; Berninger, F; Delzon, D; Grelle, A; Hari, P; Jarvis, PG and Kolari, P, et al. (2007) In Nature Photonics 447. p.848-850
Abstract
Temperate and boreal forests in the Northern Hemisphere cover an area of about 2 times 107 square kilometres and act as a substantial carbon sink (0.6–0.7 petagrams of carbon per year)1. Although forest expansion following agricultural abandonment is certainly responsible for an important fraction of this carbon sink activity, the additional effects on the carbon balance of established forests of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide, increasing temperatures, changes in management practices and nitrogen deposition are difficult to disentangle, despite an extensive network of measurement stations2, 3. The relevance of this measurement effort has also been questioned4, because spot measurements fail to take into account the role of... (More)
Temperate and boreal forests in the Northern Hemisphere cover an area of about 2 times 107 square kilometres and act as a substantial carbon sink (0.6–0.7 petagrams of carbon per year)1. Although forest expansion following agricultural abandonment is certainly responsible for an important fraction of this carbon sink activity, the additional effects on the carbon balance of established forests of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide, increasing temperatures, changes in management practices and nitrogen deposition are difficult to disentangle, despite an extensive network of measurement stations2, 3. The relevance of this measurement effort has also been questioned4, because spot measurements fail to take into account the role of disturbances, either natural (fire, pests, windstorms) or anthropogenic (forest harvesting). Here we show that the temporal dynamics following stand-replacing disturbances do indeed account for a very large fraction of the overall variability in forest carbon sequestration. After the confounding effects of disturbance have been factored out, however, forest net carbon sequestration is found to be overwhelmingly driven by nitrogen deposition, largely the result of anthropogenic activities5. The effect is always positive over the range of nitrogen deposition covered by currently available data sets, casting doubts on the risk of widespread ecosystem nitrogen saturation6 under natural conditions. The results demonstrate that mankind is ultimately controlling the carbon balance of temperate and boreal forests, either directly (through forest management) or indirectly (through nitrogen deposition). (Less)
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Nature Photonics
volume
447
pages
848 - 850
publisher
Nature Publishing Group
external identifiers
  • wos:000247207500042
  • scopus:34250334315
ISSN
1749-4885
DOI
10.1038/nature05847
language
English
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yes
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9f4c22ad-cd6f-497c-8113-1a0d733a3836 (old id 637361)
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2007-12-14 13:50:51
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@article{9f4c22ad-cd6f-497c-8113-1a0d733a3836,
  abstract     = {Temperate and boreal forests in the Northern Hemisphere cover an area of about 2 times 107 square kilometres and act as a substantial carbon sink (0.6–0.7 petagrams of carbon per year)1. Although forest expansion following agricultural abandonment is certainly responsible for an important fraction of this carbon sink activity, the additional effects on the carbon balance of established forests of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide, increasing temperatures, changes in management practices and nitrogen deposition are difficult to disentangle, despite an extensive network of measurement stations2, 3. The relevance of this measurement effort has also been questioned4, because spot measurements fail to take into account the role of disturbances, either natural (fire, pests, windstorms) or anthropogenic (forest harvesting). Here we show that the temporal dynamics following stand-replacing disturbances do indeed account for a very large fraction of the overall variability in forest carbon sequestration. After the confounding effects of disturbance have been factored out, however, forest net carbon sequestration is found to be overwhelmingly driven by nitrogen deposition, largely the result of anthropogenic activities5. The effect is always positive over the range of nitrogen deposition covered by currently available data sets, casting doubts on the risk of widespread ecosystem nitrogen saturation6 under natural conditions. The results demonstrate that mankind is ultimately controlling the carbon balance of temperate and boreal forests, either directly (through forest management) or indirectly (through nitrogen deposition).},
  author       = {Magnani, F and Mencuccini, M and Borghetti, M and Berbigier, P and Berninger, F and Delzon, D and Grelle, A and Hari, P and Jarvis, PG and Kolari, P and Kowalski, AS and Lankreijer, Harry and Law, BE and Lindroth, Anders and Loustau, D and Mancal, G and Moncrieff, JB and Rayment, M and Tedeschi, V and Valentini, R and Grace, J},
  issn         = {1749-4885},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {848--850},
  publisher    = {Nature Publishing Group},
  series       = {Nature Photonics},
  title        = {The human footprint in the carbon cycle of temperate and boreal forests},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature05847},
  volume       = {447},
  year         = {2007},
}