Effect of climate change, CO2 trends, nitrogen addition, land cover and management intensity change on the carbon balance of European grasslands

Chang, J., Ciais, P., Viovy, N., Vuichard, N., Havlik, P. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5551-5085, Wang, H., Sultan, B., & Soussana, J.-F. (2016). Effect of climate change, CO2 trends, nitrogen addition, land cover and management intensity change on the carbon balance of European grasslands. Global Change Biology 22 (1) 338-350. 10.1111/gcb.13050.

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Several lines of evidence point to European managed grassland ecosystems being a sink of carbon. In this study, we apply ORCHIDEE-GM a process-based carbon cycle model that describes specific management practices of pastures and the dynamics of carbon cycling in response to changes in climatic and biogeochemical drivers. The model is used to simulate changes in the carbon balance (i.e., Net Biome Production, NBP) of European grasslands over 1991-2010 on a 25 km x 25 km grid. The modeled average trend of NBP is 1.8 - 2.0 g C m^-2 yr^-2 during the past two decades. Attribution of this trend suggests management intensity as the dominant driver explaining NBP trends in the model (36% - 43% of the trend due to all drivers). A major change in grassland management intensity has occurred across Europe resulting from reduced livestock numbers. This change has 'inadvertently' enhanced soil C sequestration and reduced N2O and CH4 emissions by 1.2 - 1.5 Gt CO2-equivalent, offsetting more than 7% of greenhoue gas emissions in the whole European agricultural sector during the period 1991-2010. Land-cover change, climate change and rising CO2 also make positive and moderate contributions to the NBP trend (between 24% and 31% of the trend due to all drivers). Change in nitrogen addition (including fertilization and atmospheric deposition) is found to have only marginal net effect on NBP trends. However, this may not reflect reality because our model has only a very simple parameterization of nitrogen-effects on photosynthesis. The sum of NBP trends from each driver is larger than the trend obtained when all drivers are varied together, leaving a residual - nn-attributed - term (22% - 26% of the trend due to all drivers) indicating negative interactions between drivers.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: ORCHIDEE-GM; European grassland; carbon balance; management intensity; climate change; land-cover chanel
Research Programs: Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM)
Bibliographic Reference: Global Change Biology; 22(1):338-350 [January 2016] (Published online 24 July 2015)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:54
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:25
URI: https://pure.iiasa.ac.at/11717

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