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      Influence of carbon-nitrogen cycle coupling on land model response to CO2fertilization and climate variability : INFLUENCE OF CARBON-NITROGEN COUPLING

      , , ,

      Global Biogeochemical Cycles

      American Geophysical Union (AGU)

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          The Community Climate System Model Version 3 (CCSM3)

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            Observational contrains on the global atmospheric co2 budget.

            Observed atmospheric concentrations of CO(2) and data on the partial pressures of CO(2) in surface ocean waters are combined to identify globally significant sources and sinks of CO(2). The atmospheric data are compared with boundary layer concentrations calculated with the transport fields generated by a general circulation model (GCM) for specified source-sink distributions. In the model the observed north-south atmospheric concentration gradient can be maintained only if sinks for CO(2) are greater in the Northern than in the Southern Hemisphere. The observed differences between the partial pressure of CO(2) in the surface waters of the Northern Hemisphere and the atmosphere are too small for the oceans to be the major sink of fossil fuel CO(2). Therefore, a large amount of the CO(2) is apparently absorbed on the continents by terrestrial ecosystems.
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              Forest response to elevated CO2 is conserved across a broad range of productivity.

              Climate change predictions derived from coupled carbon-climate models are highly dependent on assumptions about feedbacks between the biosphere and atmosphere. One critical feedback occurs if C uptake by the biosphere increases in response to the fossil-fuel driven increase in atmospheric [CO(2)] ("CO(2) fertilization"), thereby slowing the rate of increase in atmospheric [CO(2)]. Carbon exchanges between the terrestrial biosphere and atmosphere are often first represented in models as net primary productivity (NPP). However, the contribution of CO(2) fertilization to the future global C cycle has been uncertain, especially in forest ecosystems that dominate global NPP, and models that include a feedback between terrestrial biosphere metabolism and atmospheric [CO(2)] are poorly constrained by experimental evidence. We analyzed the response of NPP to elevated CO(2) ( approximately 550 ppm) in four free-air CO(2) enrichment experiments in forest stands. We show that the response of forest NPP to elevated [CO(2)] is highly conserved across a broad range of productivity, with a stimulation at the median of 23 +/- 2%. At low leaf area indices, a large portion of the response was attributable to increased light absorption, but as leaf area indices increased, the response to elevated [CO(2)] was wholly caused by increased light-use efficiency. The surprising consistency of response across diverse sites provides a benchmark to evaluate predictions of ecosystem and global models and allows us now to focus on unresolved questions about carbon partitioning and retention, and spatial variation in NPP response caused by availability of other growth limiting resources.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Global Biogeochemical Cycles
                Global Biogeochem. Cycles
                American Geophysical Union (AGU)
                08866236
                December 2007
                December 2007
                : 21
                : 4
                : n/a
                Article
                10.1029/2006GB002868
                © 2007
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