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Implications of Climate Change for Production and Decomposition in Grasslands and Coniferous Forests

Gerd Esser
Ecological Applications
Vol. 2, No. 1 (Feb., 1992), pp. 47-54
DOI: 10.2307/1941888
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1941888
Page Count: 8
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Implications of Climate Change for Production and Decomposition in Grasslands and Coniferous Forests
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Abstract

A geographical information system, together with a climate-driven, global, regionalized, carbon-budget model, was used to investigate climatic limitations of grassland and coniferous forest vegetation units. The climatic limitations of the fluxes net primary productivity and litter decay were considered for present climatic conditions and for scenario conditions assuming a 3.5@?C temperature rise or a 10% precipitation increase, respectively. The two fluxes behave differently in respect to climatic limitations. Global grassland and coniferous forest areas are quite similar in size, but grasslands have the higher productivity while coniferous forests dominate in phytomass. Therefore, grasslands are more important for the seasonal carbon cycle. Coniferous forests have the stronger potential to influence the long-term carbon balance. The assumed climate change will strongly affect the climatic limitations of both vegetation types.

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