Ecologically implausible carbon response

de Vries, Wim; Solberg, Svein; Dobbertin, Matthias; Sterba, Hubert; Laubhahn, Daniel; Reinds, Gert Jan; Nabuurs, Gert-Jan; Gundersen, Per; Sutton, Mark A. ORCID: 2008 Ecologically implausible carbon response. Nature, 451 (7180). E1-E3.

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Magnani et al. 1 present a very strong correlation between mean lifetime net ecosystem production (NEP, defined as the net rate of carbon (C) accumulation in ecosystems2) and wet nitrogen (N) deposition. For their data in the range 4.9–9.8 kg N ha-1 yr-1, on which the correlation largely depends, the response is approximately 725 kg C per kg N in wet deposition. According to the authors, the maximum N wet deposition level of 9.8 kg N ha-1 yr-1 is equivalent to a total deposition of 15 kg N ha-1 yr-1, implying a net sequestration near 470 kg C per kg N of total deposition. We question the ecological plausibility of the relationship and show, from a multi-factor analysis of European forest measurements, how interactions with site productivity and environment imply a much smaller NEP response to N deposition.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Biogeochemistry > BG01 Measuring and modelling trace gas, aerosol and carbon > BG01.1 UK nitrogen and sulphur compounds
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Billett (to November 2013)
ISSN: 0028-0836
NORA Subject Terms: Atmospheric Sciences
Date made live: 17 Apr 2008 15:04 +0 (UTC)

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