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With guidance provided by the Climate Change Research Program of the DOE Office of Biological and Environmental Research, National Institute for Global Environmental Change (NIGEC) has supported university-based research under the subject award in four general areas as follows: (1) Carbon exchange and atmospheric CO{sub 2} uptake by US terrestrial ecosystems. In this area NIGEC has supported a wide range of research projects focused on the structure and variation of the carbon balance over grasslands, forests and croplands, including studies of the roles of soil moisture, respiration and warming in the net surface CO{sub 2} flux. Many of these studies have been carried out in conjunction with the AmeriFlux project. This research has revealed the complexity of the terrestrial carbon budget and the difficulty of obtaining representative measurements in the field. (2) Effects of environmental change on US terrestrial ecosystems. In this area NIGEC has supported both laboratory and field studies of the response of important terrestrial ecosystems to changes in the atmospheric environment. Primary attention has been given to the effects of increased atmospheric CO{sub 2} on agricultural crops and on the biodiversity in regional vegetative ecosystems. The effects of environmental change on the behavior of selected plant pests,more » parasites and fungi and on the microbial activity in soil has also been studied. This research has demonstrated the importance of considering the joint effects of changes in temperature, soil hydrology and the concentration of greenhouse gases other than CO{sub 2}. (3) Development of ecosystem models needed for integrated assessment and for coupling with climate models. In this area NIGEC has supported the development and testing of models of selected forest, grassland and agricultural ecosystems, as well as models of the interacting surface and soil water budgets. Research has also examined the problems associated with upscaling local ecosystems into models representative of large regions and the introduction of economic considerations for integrated assessment. This research has underscored the need to consider terrestrial ecosystems' interactions with the atmosphere, ocean and hydrology in models to be used for the simulation of future ecosystem behavior under climate change. (4) Research on the role of aerosols in the atmospheric radiation balance and their effects on processes involving terrestrial ecosystems. In this area NIGEC has supported both laboratory and field studies of the scattering, absorption and hygroscopic properties of carbon-containing aerosols and their effects on photosynthesis. The possible impact of sulfate-coated soot in the uptake of CO{sub 2} by regional ecosystems has also been supported. This research has demonstrated the sensitivity of terrestrial ecosystems to local variations of the radiation budget, and has highlighted their possible role in regional climate change.« less
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
TRN: US200515%%646
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Other Information: PBD: 26 Apr 2005
Research Org:
University of California, Office of the President (US)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States