Management and site effects on carbon balances of European mountain meadows and rangelands

Berninger, Frank; Susiluoto, Sanna; Gianelle, Damiano; Bahn, Michael; Wohlfahrt, Georg; Sutton, Mark; Garcia-Pausas, Jordi; Gimeno, Cristina; Sanz, Maria J.; Dore, Sabina; Rogiers, Nele; Furger, Markus; Eugster, Werner; Balzarolo, Manuela; Sebastià, M. Teresa; Tenhunen, John; Staszewski, Tomasz; Cernusca, Alexander. 2015 Management and site effects on carbon balances of European mountain meadows and rangelands. Boreal Environment Research, 20 (6). 748-760.

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We studied carbon balances and carbon stocks of mountain rangelands and meadows in a network of 8 eddy covariance sites and 14 sites with biomass data in Europe. Net ecosystem exchange of pastures and extensively managed semi-natural rangelands were usually close to zero, while meadows fixed carbon, with the exception of one meadow that was established on a drained peatland. When we accounted for off-site losses and inputs also the carbon budget of meadows approached zero. Soil carbon stocks in these ecosystems were high, comparable to those of forest ecosystems, while carbon stocks in plant biomass were smaller. Since soil carbon stocks of abandoned mountain grasslands are as high as in managed ecosystems, it is likely that the widespread abandonment of mountain rangelands used currently as pastures will not lead to an immediate carbon sink in those ecosystems.

Item Type: Publication - Article
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Dise
ISSN: 1239-6095
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Full text freely available via Official URL link.
NORA Subject Terms: Agriculture and Soil Science
Atmospheric Sciences
Date made live: 10 Feb 2016 10:51 +0 (UTC)

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