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Nutrient availability as the key regulator of global forest carbon balance
Fernández-Martínez, Marcos (Centre de Recerca Ecològica i Aplicacions Forestals)
Vicca, Sara (Universiteit Antwerpen. Departement Biologie)
Janssens, I. A. (Universiteit Antwerpen. Departement Biologie)
Sardans i Galobart, Jordi (Centre de Recerca Ecològica i Aplicacions Forestals)
Luyssaert, S. (Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environment)
Campioli, M. (Universiteit Antwerpen. Departement Biologie)
Chapin III, F. S. (University of Alaska Fairbanks. Institute of Arctic Biology)
Ciais, Philippe (Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environment)
Malhi, Y (University of Oxford. Environmental Change Institute)
Obersteiner, M. (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis)
Papale, D. (Università degli studi della Tuscia. Dipartimento per l'Innovazione dei sistemi biologici, agroalimentari e forestali)
Piao, S. L. (Zhongguo ke xue yuan. Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research)
Reichstein, M. (Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry)
Rodà, F. (Ferran), 1953- (Centre de Recerca Ecològica i Aplicacions Forestals)
Peñuelas, Josep (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Departament de Biologia Animal, de Biologia Vegetal i d'Ecologia)

Date: 2014
Abstract: Forests strongly affect climate through the exchange of large amounts of atmospheric CO2 (ref. 1). The main drivers of spatial variability in net ecosystem production (NEP) on a global scale are, however, poorly known. As increasing nutrient availability increases the production of biomass per unit of photosynthesis2 and reduces heterotrophic3 respiration in forests, we expected nutrients to determine carbon sequestration in forests. Our synthesis study of 92 forests in different climate zones revealed that nutrient availability indeed plays a crucial role in determining NEP and ecosystem carbon-use efficiency (CUEe; that is, the ratio of NEP to gross primary production (GPP)). Forests with high GPP exhibited high NEP only in nutrient-rich forests (CUEe = 33 ± 4%; mean ± s. e. m. ). In nutrient-poor forests, a much larger proportion of GPP was released through ecosystem respiration, resulting in lower CUEe (6 ± 4%). Our finding that nutrient availability exerts a stronger control on NEP than on carbon input (GPP) conflicts with assumptions of nearly all global coupled carbon cycle–climate models, which assume that carbon inputs through photosynthesis drive biomass production and carbon sequestration. An improved global understanding of nutrient availability would therefore greatly improve carbon cycle modelling and should become a critical focus for future research.
Note: Número d'acord de subvenció EC/FP7/610028
Note: Número d'acord de subvenció EC/FP7/242564
Note: Número d'acord de subvenció MICINN/CSD20080-0040
Note: Número d'acord de subvenció MICINN/CGC2010-17172
Note: Número d'acord de subvenció AGAUR/2009/SGR-458
Rights: Tots els drets reservats
Language: Anglès.
Document: article ; recerca ; submittedVersion
Subject: Forest carbon ; Nutrient availability
Published in: Nature climate change, Vol. 4 (June 2014) , p. 471-476, ISSN 1758-678X

DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2177

Submitted version
81 p, 1.1 MB

The record appears in these collections:
Research literature > UAB research groups literature > Research Centres and Groups (scientific output) > Experimental sciences > CREAF (Centre de Recerca Ecològica i d'Aplicacions Forestals) > Imbalance-P
Articles > Research articles
Articles > Published articles

 Record created 2014-11-25, last modified 2019-10-02

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