Carbon balance gradient in European forests: should we doubt ‘surprising’ results? A reply to Piovesan & Adams
ABSTRACT This paper responds to the Forum contribution by Piovesan & Adams (2000) who criticized the results obtained by the EUROFLUX network on carbon fluxes of several European forests. The major point of criticism was that the data provided by EUROFLUX are inconsistent with current scientific understanding. It is argued that understanding the terrestrial global carbon cycle requires more than simply restating what was known previously, and that Piovesan & Adams have not been able to show any major conflicts between our findings and ecosystem or atmospheric-transport theories.
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ABSTRACT: It has been suggested that increases in temperature can accelerate the decomposition of organic carbon contained in forest mineral soil (Cs), and, therefore, that global warming should increase the release of soil organic carbon to the atmosphere. These predictions assume, however, that decay constants can be accurately derived from short-term laboratory incubations of soil or that in situ incubations of fresh litter accurately represent the temperature sensitivity of Cs decomposition. But our limited understanding of the biophysical factors that control Cs decomposition rates, and observations of only minor increases in Cs decomposition rate with temperature in longer-term forest soil heating experiments and in latitudinal comparisons of Cs decomposition rates bring these predictions into question. Here we have compiled Cs decomposition data from 82 sites on five continents. We found that Cs decomposition rates were remarkably constant across a global-scale gradient in mean annual temperature. These data suggest that Cs decomposition rates for forest soils are not controlled by temperature limitations to microbial activity, and that increased temperature alone will not stimulate the decomposition of forest-derived carbon in mineral soil.Nature 05/2000; 404(6780):858-61. · 38.60 Impact Factor
- Global Change Biology - GLOB CHANGE BIOL. 01/1996; 2(3):159-168.
- Global Change Biology - GLOB CHANGE BIOL. 01/1996; 2(3):219-229.