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Title: Ecosystem carbon transit versus turnover times in response to climate warming and rising atmospheric CO2 concentration

Abstract

Ecosystem carbon (C) transit time is a critical diagnostic parameter to characterize land C sequestration. This parameter has different variants in the literature, including a commonly used turnover time. However, we know little about how different transit time and turnover time are in representing carbon cycling through multiple compartments under a non-steady state. In this study, we estimate both C turnover time as defined by the conventional stock over flux and mean C transit time as defined by the mean age of C mass leaving the system. We incorporate them into the Community Atmosphere Biosphere Land Exchange (CABLE) model to estimate C turnover time and transit time in response to climate warming and rising atmospheric [CO2]. Modelling analysis shows that both C turnover time and transit time increase with climate warming but decrease with rising atmospheric [CO2]. Warming increases C turnover time by 2.4 years and transit time by 11.8 years in 2100 relative to that at steady state in 1901. During the same period, rising atmospheric [CO2] decreases C turnover time by 3.8 years and transit time by 5.5 years. Our analysis shows that 65 % of the increase in global mean C transit time with climate warming results frommore » the depletion of fast-turnover C pool. The remaining 35 % increase results from accompanied changes in compartment C age structures. Similarly, the decrease in mean C transit time with rising atmospheric [CO2] results approximately equally from replenishment of C into fast-turnover C pool and subsequent decrease in compartment C age structure. Greatly different from the transit time, the turnover time, which does not account for changes in either C age structure or composition of respired C, underestimated impacts of warming and rising atmospheric [CO2] on C diagnostic time and potentially led to deviations in estimating land C sequestration in multi-compartmental ecosystems.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2];  [3];  [4]
  1. Sun Yat-Sen Univ., Guangzhou (China); Northern Arizona Univ., Flagstaff, AZ (United States); Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Dickson ACT (Australia)
  2. Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Dickson ACT (Australia)
  3. Northern Arizona Univ., Flagstaff, AZ (United States); Tsinghua Univ., Beijing (China)
  4. Northern Arizona Univ., Flagstaff, AZ (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK (United States); Northern Arizona Univ., Flagstaff, AZ (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
OSTI Identifier:
1611028
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0008270; SC0014085
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Biogeosciences (Online)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Biogeosciences (Online); Journal Volume: 15; Journal Issue: 21; Journal ID: ISSN 1726-4189
Publisher:
European Geosciences Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 58 GEOSCIENCES; Environmental Sciences & Ecology; Geology

Citation Formats

Lu, Xingjie, Wang, Ying-Ping, Luo, Yiqi, and Jiang, Lifen. Ecosystem carbon transit versus turnover times in response to climate warming and rising atmospheric CO2 concentration. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.5194/bg-15-6559-2018.
Lu, Xingjie, Wang, Ying-Ping, Luo, Yiqi, & Jiang, Lifen. Ecosystem carbon transit versus turnover times in response to climate warming and rising atmospheric CO2 concentration. United States. doi:10.5194/bg-15-6559-2018.
Lu, Xingjie, Wang, Ying-Ping, Luo, Yiqi, and Jiang, Lifen. Wed . "Ecosystem carbon transit versus turnover times in response to climate warming and rising atmospheric CO2 concentration". United States. doi:10.5194/bg-15-6559-2018. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1611028.
@article{osti_1611028,
title = {Ecosystem carbon transit versus turnover times in response to climate warming and rising atmospheric CO2 concentration},
author = {Lu, Xingjie and Wang, Ying-Ping and Luo, Yiqi and Jiang, Lifen},
abstractNote = {Ecosystem carbon (C) transit time is a critical diagnostic parameter to characterize land C sequestration. This parameter has different variants in the literature, including a commonly used turnover time. However, we know little about how different transit time and turnover time are in representing carbon cycling through multiple compartments under a non-steady state. In this study, we estimate both C turnover time as defined by the conventional stock over flux and mean C transit time as defined by the mean age of C mass leaving the system. We incorporate them into the Community Atmosphere Biosphere Land Exchange (CABLE) model to estimate C turnover time and transit time in response to climate warming and rising atmospheric [CO2]. Modelling analysis shows that both C turnover time and transit time increase with climate warming but decrease with rising atmospheric [CO2]. Warming increases C turnover time by 2.4 years and transit time by 11.8 years in 2100 relative to that at steady state in 1901. During the same period, rising atmospheric [CO2] decreases C turnover time by 3.8 years and transit time by 5.5 years. Our analysis shows that 65 % of the increase in global mean C transit time with climate warming results from the depletion of fast-turnover C pool. The remaining 35 % increase results from accompanied changes in compartment C age structures. Similarly, the decrease in mean C transit time with rising atmospheric [CO2] results approximately equally from replenishment of C into fast-turnover C pool and subsequent decrease in compartment C age structure. Greatly different from the transit time, the turnover time, which does not account for changes in either C age structure or composition of respired C, underestimated impacts of warming and rising atmospheric [CO2] on C diagnostic time and potentially led to deviations in estimating land C sequestration in multi-compartmental ecosystems.},
doi = {10.5194/bg-15-6559-2018},
journal = {Biogeosciences (Online)},
number = 21,
volume = 15,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {11}
}

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