Reduction of forest soil respiration in response to nitrogen deposition

Janssens, A., Dieleman, W., Luyssaert, S., Subke, J-A., Reichstein, M., Ceulemans, R., Ciais, P., Dolman, A.J., Grace, J., Matteucci, G., Papale, D., Piao, S.L., Schulze, E-D., Tang, J., and Law, B.E. (2010) Reduction of forest soil respiration in response to nitrogen deposition. Nature Geoscience, 3 (5). pp. 315-322.

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The use of fossil fuels and fertilizers has increased the amount of biologically reactive nitrogen in the atmosphere over the past century. As a consequence, forests in industrialized regions have experienced greater rates of nitrogen deposition in recent decades. This unintended fertilization has stimulated forest growth, but has also affected soil microbial activity, and thus the recycling of soil carbon and nutrients. A meta-analysis suggests that nitrogen deposition impedes organic matter decomposition, and thus stimulates carbon sequestration, in temperate forest soils where nitrogen is not limiting microbial growth. The concomitant reduction in soil carbon emissions is substantial, and equivalent in magnitude to the amount of carbon taken up by trees owing to nitrogen fertilization. As atmospheric nitrogen levels continue to rise, increased nitrogen deposition could spread to older, more weathered soils, as found in the tropics; however, soil carbon cycling in tropical forests cannot yet be assessed.

Item ID: 19959
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1752-0908
Funders: University of Antwerp Research Centre of Excellence ECO Methusalem funding, EC-FP7 project GHG Europe, Flemish National Science Foundation (FWO-Flanders)
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2012 00:56
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0503 Soil Sciences > 050301 Carbon Sequestration Science @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050204 Environmental Impact Assessment @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960310 Global Effects of Climate Change and Variability (excl. Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica and the South Pacific) @ 100%
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