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Publication Date
16 July 2016

Phosphorus Feedbacks Constraining Tropical Ecosystem Responses to Changes in Atmospheric CO2 and Climate



The effects of phosphorus (P) availability on carbon (C) cycling in the Amazon region are investigated using CLM-CNP. We demonstrate that the coupling of P dynamics reduces the simulated historical terrestrial C sink due to increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations ([CO2]) by about 26%. Our exploratory simulations show that the response of tropical forest C cycling to increasing [CO2] depends on how elevated CO2 affects phosphatase enzyme production. The effects of warming are more complex, depending on the interactions between humidity, C, and nutrient dynamics. While a simulation with low humidity generally shows the reduction of net primary productivity (NPP), a second simulation with higher humidity suggests overall increases in NPP due to the dominant effects of reduced water stress and more nutrient availability. Our simulations point to the need for (1) new observations on how elevated [CO2] affects phosphatase enzyme production and (2) more tropical leaf-scale measurements under different temperature/humidity conditions with different soil P availability.

“Phosphorus Feedbacks Constraining Tropical Ecosystem Responses To Changes In Atmospheric Co2 And Climate”. 2016. Geophysical Research Letters 43: 7205-7214. doi:10.1002/2016GL069241.
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