Skip to main content
The University of Massachusetts Amherst

The Effects of Land Cover and Land Use Change on the Contemporary Carbon Balance of the Arctic and Boreal Terrestrial Ecosystems of Northern Eurasia

Authors:

T.J. Burnside

Jerry Melillo

Daniel Hayes

David McGuire

David Kicklighter

Garik Gutman

Anni Reissell

+2 more
Publication Type:
Book
Year of Publication:
2010
Publisher:
Springer Netherlands
City:
Dordrecht
ISBN Number:
978-90-481-9118-5
DOI:
10.1007/978-90-481-9118-5_6
Pages:
109-136
Year:
2010

Abstract

Recent changes in climate, disturbance regimes and land use and management systems in Northern Eurasia have the potential to disrupt the terrestrial sink of atmospheric CO2 in a way that accelerates global climate change. To determine the recent trends in the carbon balance of the arctic and boreal ecosystems of this region, we performed a retrospective analysis of terrestrial carbon dynamics across northern Eurasia over a recent 10-year period using a terrestrial biogeochemical process model. The results of the simulations suggest a shift in direction of the net flux from the terrestrial sink of earlier decades to a net source on the order of 45 Tg C year-1 between 1997 and 2006. The simulation framework and subsequent analyses presented in this study attribute this shift to a large loss of carbon from boreal forest ecosystems, which experienced a trend of decreasing precipitation and a large area burned during this time period.