Canadian Forest Service Publications

Simulating carbon dynamics along the Boreal Forest Transect Case Study (BFTCS) in central Canada. 2. Sensitivity to climate change. 1998. Peng, C.H.; Apps, M.J. Global Biogeochemical Cyles 12(2): 393-402.

Year: 1998

Issued by: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 26550

Language: English

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Abstract

The effects of climate change and doubling atmospheric CO2 on carbon dynamics of the boreal forest in the area of the Boreal Forest Transect Case Study in central Canada were investigated using the process-based plant-soil model CENTURY 4.0. The results presented here suggest that (1) across the transect climate change would result in increased total carbon in vegetation biomass but decreased overall carbon in soil; (2) increased atmospheric CO2 concentration under current climatic patterns would result in increased total carbon in vegetation and in soil organic matter; and (3) combined climate change and elevated CO2 would increase both net primary productivity and decomposition rates relative to the current climate condition, but their combined action would be a reduction of soil carbon losses relative to those due to climate change alone. The interactive effects of climate change and elevated CO2, however, are not a simple additive combination of the individual responses. The responses to climate change and elevated CO2 vary across the climate gradient from southern to northern sites on the transect. The present simulations indicate that the northern sites are more sensitive to climate change than the southern sites are, but these simulations do not consider likely changes in the disturbance regime or changes in forest species distribution.