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Through enhanced tree dynamics carbon dioxide enrichment may cause tropical forests to lose carbon

Körner, Christian. (2004) Through enhanced tree dynamics carbon dioxide enrichment may cause tropical forests to lose carbon. Philosophical transactions. Biological sciences, Vol. 359, H. 1443. pp. 493-498.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5249089

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Abstract

The fixation and storage of C by tropical forests, which contain close to half of the globe`s biomass C, may be affected by elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration. Classical theoretical approaches assume a uniform stimulation of photosynthesis and growth across taxa. Direct assessments of the C balance either by flux studies or by repeated forest inventories also suggest a current net uptake, although magnitudes sometimes exceed those missing required to balance the global C cycle. Reasons for such discrepancies may lie in the nature of forest dynamics and in differential responses of taxa or plant functional types. In this contribution I argue that CO2 enrichment may cause forests to become more dynamic and that faster tree turnover may in fact convert a stimulatory effect of elevated CO2 on photosynthesis and growth into a long-term net biomass C loss by favouring shorter-lived trees of lower wood density. At the least, this is a scenario that deserves inclusion into long-term projections of the C relations of tropical forests. Species and plant functional type specific responses (`biodiversity effects`) and forest dynamics need to be accounted for in projections of future C storage and cycling in tropical forests.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Ehemalige Einheiten Umweltwissenschaften > Pflanzenökologie (Körner)
UniBasel Contributors:Körner, Christian
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Bibsysno:Link to catalogue
Publisher:Royal Society of London
ISSN:0962-8436
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:22 Mar 2012 14:25
Deposited On:22 Mar 2012 13:45

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