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See detailA plant's perspective of extremes: Terrestrial plant responses to changing climatic variability
Reyer, C.; Leuzinger, S.; Ramming, A. et al

in Global Change Biology (2013), 19

We review observational, experimental and model results on how plants respond to extreme climatic conditions induced by changing climatic variability. Distinguishing between impacts of changing mean ... [more ▼]

We review observational, experimental and model results on how plants respond to extreme climatic conditions induced by changing climatic variability. Distinguishing between impacts of changing mean climatic conditions and changing climatic variability on terrestrial ecosystems is generally underrated in current studies. The goals of our review are thus (1) to identify plant processes that are vulnerable to changes in the variability of climatic variables rather than to changes in their mean, and (2) to depict/evaluate available study designs to quantify responses of plants to changing climatic variability. We find that phenology is largely affected by changing mean climate but also that impacts of climatic variability are much less studied but potentially damaging. We note that plant water relations seem to be very vulnerable to extremes driven by changes in temperature and precipitation and that heatwaves and flooding have stronger impacts on physiological processes than changing mean climate. Moreover, interacting phenological and physiological processes are likely to further complicate plant responses to changing climatic variability. Phenological and physiological processes and their interactions culminate in even more sophisticated responses to changing mean climate and climatic variability at the species and community level. Generally, observational studies are well suited to study plant responses to changing mean climate, but less suitable to gain a mechanistic understanding of plant responses to climatic variability. Experiments seem best suited to simulate extreme events. In models, temporal resolution and model structure are crucial to capture plant responses to changing climatic variability. We highlight that a combination of experimental, observational and /or modeling studies have the potential to overcome important caveats of the respective individual approaches. [less ▲]

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See detailHow do temperate bryophytes face the challenge of a changing environment? Lessons from the past and predictions for the future
Desamore, Aurélie ULg; Laenen, Benjamin ULg; Stech, M. B et al

in Global Change Biology (2012), 18(9), 2915-2924

Bryophytes are a group of early land plants, whose specific ecophysiological and biological features, including poikilohydry, sensitivity to moderately high temperature and high dispersal ability, make ... [more ▼]

Bryophytes are a group of early land plants, whose specific ecophysiological and biological features, including poikilohydry, sensitivity to moderately high temperature and high dispersal ability, make them ideal candidates for investigating the impact of climate changes. Employing a combined approach of species distribution modelling (SDM) and molecular phylogeography in the temperate moss Homalothecium sericeum, we explore the significance of the Mediterranean refugia, contrasting the southern and northern refugia hypotheses, determine the extent to which recolonization of previously glaciated areas has been facilitated by the high dispersal ability of the species and make predictions on the extent to which it will be impacted by ongoing climate change. The Mediterranean areas exhibit the highest nucleotidic diversities and host a mixture of ancestral, endemic and more recently derived haplotypes. Extra-Mediterranean areas exhibit low genetic diversities and Euro-Siberian populations display a significant signal of expansion that is identified to be of Euro-Siberian origin, pointing to the northern refugia hypothesis. The SDMs predict a global net increase in range size owing to ongoing climate change, but substantial range reductions in southern areas. Presence of a significant phylogeographical signal at different spatial scales suggests, however, that dispersal limitations might constitute, as opposed to the traditional view of spore-producing plants as efficient dispersers, a constraint for migration. This casts doubts about the ability of the species to face the massive extinctions predicted in the southern areas, threatening their status of reservoir of genetic diversity. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. [less ▲]

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See detailEffect of eutrophication on air-sea CO2 fluxes in the coastal Southern North Sea: a model study of the past 50 years
Gypens, N.; Borges, Alberto ULg; Lancelot, C.

in Global Change Biology (2009), 15(4), 1040-1056

The RIVERSTRAHLER model, an idealized biogeochemical model of the river system, has been coupled to MIRO-CO2, a complex biogeochemical model describing diatom and Phaeocystis blooms and carbon and ... [more ▼]

The RIVERSTRAHLER model, an idealized biogeochemical model of the river system, has been coupled to MIRO-CO2, a complex biogeochemical model describing diatom and Phaeocystis blooms and carbon and nutrient cycles in the marine domain, to assess the dual role of changing nutrient loads and increasing atmospheric CO2 as drivers of air–sea CO2 exchanges in the Southern North Sea with a focus on the Belgian coastal zone (BCZ). The whole area, submitted to the influence of two main rivers (Seine and Scheldt), is characterized by variable diatom and Phaeocystis colonies blooms which impact on the trophic status and air–sea CO2 fluxes of the coastal ecosystem. For this application, the MIRO-CO2 model is implemented in a 0D multibox frame covering the eutrophied Eastern English Channel and Southern North Sea and receiving loads from the rivers Seine and Scheldt. Model simulations are performed for the period between 1951 and 1998 using real forcing fields for sea surface temperature, wind speed and atmospheric CO2 and RIVERSTRAHLER simulations for river carbon and nutrient loads. Model results suggest that the BCZ shifted from a source of CO2 before 1970 (low eutrophication) towards a sink during the 1970–1990 period when anthropogenic DIN and P loads increased, stimulating C fixation by autotrophs. In agreement, a shift from net annual heterotrophy towards autotrophy in BCZ is simulated from 1980. The period after 1990 is characterized by a progressive decrease of P loads concomitant with a decrease of primary production and of the CO2 sink in the BCZ. At the end of the simulation period, the BCZ ecosystem is again net heterotroph and acts as a source of CO2 to the atmosphere. R-MIRO-CO2 scenarios testing the relative impact of temperature, wind speed, atmospheric CO2 and river loads variability on the simulated air–sea CO2 fluxes suggest that the trend in air–sea CO2 fluxes simulated between 1951 and 1998 in the BCZ was mainly controlled by the magnitude and the ratio of inorganic nutrient river loads. Quantitative nutrient changes control the level of primary production while qualitative changes modulate the relative contribution of diatoms and Phaeocystis to this flux and hence the sequestration of atmospheric CO2. [less ▲]

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See detailLatitudinal patterns of magnitude and interannual variability in net ecosystem exchange regulated by biological and environmental variables
Yuan, Wenping; Luo, Yiqi; Richardson, Andrew D et al

in Global Change Biology (2009), 15(12), 2905-2920

Over the last two and half decades, strong evidence showed that the terrestrial ecosystems are acting as a net sink for atmospheric carbon. However the spatial and temporal patterns of variation in the ... [more ▼]

Over the last two and half decades, strong evidence showed that the terrestrial ecosystems are acting as a net sink for atmospheric carbon. However the spatial and temporal patterns of variation in the sink are not well known. In this study, we examined latitudinal patterns of interannual variability (IAV) in net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2 based on 163 site-years of eddy covariance data, from 39 northern-hemisphere research sites located at latitudes ranging from similar to 29 degrees N to similar to 64 degrees N. We computed the standard deviation of annual NEE integrals at individual sites to represent absolute interannual variability (AIAV), and the corresponding coefficient of variation as a measure of relative interannual variability (RIAV). Our results showed decreased trends of annual NEE with increasing latitude for both deciduous broadleaf forests and evergreen needleleaf forests. Gross primary production (GPP) explained a significant proportion of the spatial variation of NEE across evergreen needleleaf forests, whereas, across deciduous broadleaf forests, it is ecosystem respiration (Re). In addition, AIAV in GPP and Re increased significantly with latitude in deciduous broadleaf forests, but AIAV in GPP decreased significantly with latitude in evergreen needleleaf forests. Furthermore, RIAV in NEE, GPP, and Re appeared to increase significantly with latitude in deciduous broadleaf forests, but not in evergreen needleleaf forests. Correlation analyses showed air temperature was the primary environmental factor that determined RIAV of NEE in deciduous broadleaf forest across the North American sites, and none of the chosen climatic factors could explain RIAV of NEE in evergreen needleleaf forests. Mean annual NEE significantly increased with latitude in grasslands. Precipitation was dominant environmental factor for the spatial variation of magnitude and IAV in GPP and Re in grasslands. [less ▲]

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See detailExceptional Carbon Uptake In European Forests During The Warm Spring Of 2007: A Data-Model Analysis
Delpierre, N.; Soudani, K.; Kostner, B. et al

in Global Change Biology (2009), 15(6), 1455-1474

Temperate and boreal forests undergo drastic functional changes in the springtime, shifting within a few weeks from net carbon (C) sources to net C sinks. Most of these changes are mediated by temperature ... [more ▼]

Temperate and boreal forests undergo drastic functional changes in the springtime, shifting within a few weeks from net carbon (C) sources to net C sinks. Most of these changes are mediated by temperature. The autumn 2006-winter 2007 record warm period was followed by an exceptionally warm spring in Europe, making spring 2007 a good candidate for advances in the onset of the photosynthetically active period. An analysis of a decade of eddy covariance data from six European forests stands, which encompass a wide range of functional types (broadleaf evergreen, broadleaf deciduous, needleleaf evergreen) and a wide latitudinal band (from 44 degrees to 62 degrees N), revealed exceptional fluxes during spring 2007. Gross primary productivity (GPP) of spring 2007 was the maximum recorded in the decade examined for all sites but a Mediterranean evergreen forest (with a +40 to +130 gC m(-2) anomaly compared with the decadal mean over the January-May period). Total ecosystem respiration (TER) was also promoted during spring 2007, though less anomalous than GPP (with a +17 to +93 gC m(-2) anomaly over 5 months), leading to higher net uptake than the long-term mean at all sites (+12 to +79 gC m(-2) anomaly over 5 months). A correlative analysis relating springtime C fluxes to simple phenological indices suggested spring C uptake and temperatures to be related. The CASTANEA process-based model was used to disentangle the seasonality of climatic drivers (incoming radiation, air and soil temperatures) and biological drivers (canopy dynamics, thermal acclimation of photosynthesis to low temperatures) on spring C fluxes along the latitudinal gradient. A sensitivity analysis of model simulations evidenced the roles of (i) an exceptional early budburst combined with elevated air temperature in deciduous sites, and (ii) an early relief of winter thermal acclimation in coniferous sites for the promotion of 2007 spring assimilation. [less ▲]

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See detailCarbon balance assessment of a Belgian winter wheat crop
Moureaux, Christine ULg; Debacq, Alain ULg; Hoyaux, Julien et al

in Global Change Biology (2008), 14(6), 1353-1366

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See detailReduction Of Ecosystem Productivity And Respiration During The European Summer 2003 Climate Anomaly: A Joint Flux Tower, Remote Sensing And Modelling Analysis
Reichstein, M.; Ciais, P.; Papale, D. et al

in Global Change Biology (2007), 13(3),

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See detailCO2 balance of boreal, temperate, and tropical forests derived from a global database
Luyssaert, S.; Inglima, I.; Jung, M. et al

in Global Change Biology (2007), 13(12), 2509-2537

Terrestrial ecosystems sequester 2.1 Pg of atmospheric carbon annually. A large amount of the terrestrial sink is realized by forests. However, considerable uncertainties remain regarding the fate of this ... [more ▼]

Terrestrial ecosystems sequester 2.1 Pg of atmospheric carbon annually. A large amount of the terrestrial sink is realized by forests. However, considerable uncertainties remain regarding the fate of this carbon over both short and long timescales. Relevant data to address these uncertainties are being collected at many sites around the world, but syntheses of these data are still sparse. To facilitate future synthesis activities, we have assembled a comprehensive global database for forest ecosystems, which includes carbon budget variables (fluxes and stocks), ecosystem traits (e.g. leaf area index, age), as well as ancillary site information such as management regime, climate, and soil characteristics. This publicly available database can be used to quantify global, regional or biome-specific carbon budgets; to re-examine established relationships; to test emerging hypotheses about ecosystem functioning [e.g. a constant net ecosystem production (NEP) to gross primary production (GPP) ratio]; and as benchmarks for model evaluations. In this paper, we present the first analysis of this database. We discuss the climatic influences on GPP, net primary production (NPP) and NEP and present the CO2 balances for boreal, temperate, and tropical forest biomes based on micrometeorological, ecophysiological, and biometric flux and inventory estimates. Globally, GPP of forests benefited from higher temperatures and precipitation whereas NPP saturated above either a threshold of 1500 mm precipitation or a mean annual temperature of 10 degrees C. The global pattern in NEP was insensitive to climate and is hypothesized to be mainly determined by nonclimatic conditions such as successional stage, management, site history, and site disturbance. In all biomes, closing the CO2 balance required the introduction of substantial biome-specific closure terms. Nonclosure was taken as an indication that respiratory processes, advection, and non-CO2 carbon fluxes are not presently being adequately accounted for. [less ▲]

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See detailLinking flux network measurements to continental scale simulations: Ecosystem carbon dioxide exchange capacity under non-water-stressed conditions
Owen, Katherine; Tenhunen, John; Reichstein, Markus et al

in Global Change Biology (2007), 13

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See detailOn the separation of net ecosystem exchange into assimilation and ecosystem respiration: review and improved algorithm
Reichstein, Markus; Falge, Eva; Baldocchi, Dennis et al

in Global Change Biology (2005), 11(9), 1424-1439

This paper discusses the advantages and disadvantages of the different methods that separate net ecosystem exchange (NEE) into its major components, gross ecosystem carbon uptake (GEP) and ecosystem ... [more ▼]

This paper discusses the advantages and disadvantages of the different methods that separate net ecosystem exchange (NEE) into its major components, gross ecosystem carbon uptake (GEP) and ecosystem respiration (R-eco). In particular, we analyse the effect of the extrapolation of night-time values of ecosystem respiration into the daytime; this is usually done with a temperature response function that is derived from long-term data sets. For this analysis, we used 16 one-year-long data sets of carbon dioxide exchange measurements from European and US-American eddy covariance networks. These sites span from the boreal to Mediterranean climates, and include deciduous and evergreen forest, scrubland and crop ecosystems. We show that the temperature sensitivity of R-eco, derived from long-term (annual) data sets, does not reflect the short-term temperature sensitivity that is effective when extrapolating from night- to daytime. Specifically, in summer active ecosystems the long-term temperature sensitivity exceeds the short-term sensitivity. Thus, in those ecosystems, the application of a long-term temperature sensitivity to the extrapolation of respiration from night to day leads to a systematic overestimation of ecosystem respiration from half-hourly to annual time-scales, which can reach > 25% for an annual budget and which consequently affects estimates of GEP. Conversely, in summer passive (Mediterranean) ecosystems, the long-term temperature sensitivity is lower than the short-term temperature sensitivity resulting in underestimation of annual sums of respiration. We introduce a new generic algorithm that derives a short-term temperature sensitivity of R-eco from eddy covariance data that applies this to the extrapolation from night- to daytime, and that further performs a filling of data gaps that exploits both, the covariance between fluxes and meteorological drivers and the temporal structure of the fluxes. While this algorithm should give less biased estimates of GEP and R-eco, we discuss the remaining biases and recommend that eddy covariance measurements are still backed by ancillary flux measurements that can reduce the uncertainties inherent in the eddy covariance data. [less ▲]

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See detailThree years of free-air CO2 enrichment (POPFACE) only slightly affects profiles of light and leaf characteristics in closed canopies of Populus.
Gielen, B; Liberloo, M; Bogaert, Jan ULg et al

in Global Change Biology (2003), 9(7), 1022-1037

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See detailElevated atmospheric CO2 in open top chambers increases net nitrification and potential denitrification
Carnol, Monique ULg; Hogenboom, L.; Jach, M. E. et al

in Global Change Biology (2002), 8

The control of soil nitrogen (N) availability under elevated atmospheric CO2 is central to predicting changes in ecosystem carbon (C) storage and primary productivity. The effects of elevated CO2 on ... [more ▼]

The control of soil nitrogen (N) availability under elevated atmospheric CO2 is central to predicting changes in ecosystem carbon (C) storage and primary productivity. The effects of elevated CO2 on belowground processes have so far attracted limited research and they are assumed to be controlled by indirect effects through changes in plant physiology and chemistry. In this study, we investigated the effects of a 4-year exposure to elevated CO2 (ambient + 400 mumol mol(-1) ) in open top chambers under Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L) seedlings on soil microbial processes of nitrification and denitrification. Potential denitrification (DP) and potential N-2 O emissions were significantly higher in soils from the elevated CO2 treatment, probably regulated indirectly by the changes in soil conditions (increased pH, C availability and NO3 (-) production). Net N mineralization was mainly accounted for by nitrate production. Nitrate production was significantly larger for soil from the elevated CO2 treatment in the field when incubated in the laboratory under elevated CO2 (increase of 100%), but there was no effect when incubated under ambient CO2 . Net nitrate production of the soil originating from the ambient CO2 treatment in the field was not influenced by laboratory incubation conditions. These results indicate that a direct effect of elevated atmospheric CO2 on soil microbial processes might take place. We hypothesize that physiological adaptation or selection of nitrifiers could occur under elevated CO2 through higher soil CO2 concentrations. Alternatively, lower microbial NH4 assimilation under elevated CO2 might explain the higher net nitrification. We conclude that elevated atmospheric CO2 has a major direct effect on the soil microbial processes of nitrification and denitrification despite generally higher soil CO2 concentrations compared to atmospheric concentrations. [less ▲]

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See detailProductivity Overshadows Temperature In Determining Soil And Ecosystem Respiration Across European Forests
Janssens, Ia.; Lankreijer, H.; Matteucci, G. et al

in Global Change Biology (2001), 7(3),

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See detailComparing global models of terrestrial net primary productivity (NPP): analysis of the seasonal atmospheric CO2 signal
Nemry, B.; François, Louis ULg; Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg et al

in Global Change Biology (1999), 5(Suppl. 1), 65-76

Eight terrestrial biospheric models (TBMs) calculating the monthly distributions of both net primary productivity (NPP) and soil heterotrophic respiration (R-H) in the Potsdam NPP Model Intercomparison ... [more ▼]

Eight terrestrial biospheric models (TBMs) calculating the monthly distributions of both net primary productivity (NPP) and soil heterotrophic respiration (R-H) in the Potsdam NPP Model Intercomparison workshop are used to simulate seasonal patterns of atmospheric CO2 concentration. For each model, we used net ecosystem productivity (NEP=NPP-R-H) as the source function in the TM2 atmospheric transport model from the Max-Planck Institute for Meteorology. Comparing the simulated concentration fields with detrended measurements from 25 monitoring stations spread over the world, we found that the decreasing seasonal amplitude from north to south is rather well reproduced by all the models, though the amplitudes are slightly too low in the north. The agreement between the simulated and observed seasonality is good in the northern hemisphere, but poor in the southern hemisphere, even when the ocean is accounted for. Based on a Fourier analysis of the calculated zonal atmospheric signals, tropical NEP plays a key role in the seasonal cycle of the atmospheric CO2 in the whole southern hemisphere. The relatively poor match between measured and predicted atmospheric CO2 in this hemisphere suggests problems with all the models. The simulation of water relations, a dominant regulator of NEP in the tropics, is a leading candidate for the source of these problems. [less ▲]

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