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Uncertainties in the relationship between atmospheric nitrogen deposition and forest catbon sequestration

By Mark A. Sutton, David Simpson, Peter E. Levy, Rognvald I. Smith, Stefan Reis, Marcel Van Oijen and Wim de Vries


In a recent study, Magnani et al. report how atmospheric nitrogen deposition drives stand-lifetime net ecosystem productivity (NEPav) for midlatitude forests, with an extremely high C to N response (725 kg C kg−1 wet-deposited N for their European sites). We present here a re-analysis of these data, which suggests a much smaller C : N response for total N inputs. Accounting for dry, as well as wet N deposition reduces the C : N response to 177 : 1. However, if covariance with intersite climatological differences is accounted for, the actual C : N response in this dataset may be <70 : 1. We then use a model analysis of 22 European forest stands to simulate the findings of Magnani et al. Multisite regression of simulated NEPav vs. total N deposition reproduces a high C : N response (149 : 1). However, once the effects of intersite climatological differences are accounted for, the value is again found to be much smaller, pointing to a real C : N response of about 50-75 : 1. \ud Keywords: atmospheric deposition models; biogeochemical models; carbon sequestration; chronosequences; forest growth; greenhouse gas budgets; net ecosystem productivity; nitrogen deposition; regression analysis; uncertainty \ud \u

Topics: Atmospheric Sciences
Year: 2008
DOI identifier: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2008.01636.x
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