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  • 1
    ISSN: 1365-2389
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Geosciences , Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
    Notes: Fires in boreal forests frequently convert organic matter in the organic layer to black carbon, but we know little of how changing fire frequency alters the amount, composition and distribution of black carbon and organic matter within soils, or affects podzolization. We compared black carbon and organic matter (organic carbon and nitrogen) in soils of three Siberian Scots pine forests with frequent, moderately frequent and infrequent fires.Black carbon did not significantly contribute to the storage of organic matter, most likely because it is consumed by intense fires. We found 99% of black carbon in the organic layer; maximum stocks were 72 g m−2. Less intense fires consumed only parts of the organic layer and converted some organic matter to black carbon (〉 5 g m−2), whereas more intense fires consumed almost the entire organic layer. In the upper 0.25 m of the mineral soil, black carbon stocks were 0.1 g m−2 in the infrequent fire regime.After fire, organic carbon and nitrogen in the organic layer accumulated with an estimated rate of 14.4 g C m−2 year−1 or 0.241 g N m−2 year−1. Maximum stocks 140 years after fire were 2190 g organic C m−2 and 40 g N m−2, with no differences among fire regimes. With increasing fire frequency, stocks of organic carbon increased from 600 to 1100 g m−2 (0–0.25 m). Stocks of nitrogen in the mineral soil were similar among the regimes (0.04 g m−2). We found that greater intensities of fire reduce amounts of organic matter in the organic layer but that the greater frequencies may slightly increase amounts in the mineral soil.
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  • 2
    ISSN: 1365-2486
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Biology , Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Geography
    Notes: Carbon dioxide, energy flux measurements and methane chamber measurements were carried out in an arctic wet tussock grassland located on a flood plane of the Kolyma river in NE Siberia over a summer period of 155 days in 2002 and early 2003. Respiration was also measured in April 2004. The study region is characterized by late thaw of the top soil (mid of June) and periodic spring floods. A stagnant water table below the grass canopy is fed by thawing of the active layer of permafrost and by flood water. The climate is continental with average daily temperature in the warmest months of 13°C (maximum temperature at midday: 28°C by the end of July), dry air (maximum vapour pressure deficit at midday: 28 hPa) and low rainfall of 50 mm during summer (July–September). Summer evaporation (July–September: 103 mm) exceeded rainfall by a factor of 2. The daily average Bowen ratio (H/LE) was 0.62 during the growing season. Net ecosystem CO2 uptake reached 10 μmol m−2 s−1 and was related to photon flux density (PFD) and vapour pressure deficit (VPD). The cumulative annual net carbon flux from the atmosphere to the terrestrial surface was estimated to be about −38 g C m−2 yr−1 (negative flux depicts net carbon sink). Winter respiration was extrapolated using the Lloyd and Taylor function. The net carbon balance is composed of a high rate of assimilation in a short summer and a fairly large but uncertain respiration mainly during autumn and spring. Methane flux (about 12 g C m−2 measured over 60 days) was 25% of C uptake during the same period of time (end of July to end of September). Assuming that CH4 was emitted only in summer, and taking the greenhouse gas warming potential of CH4 vs. CO2 into account (factor 23), the study site was a greenhouse gas source (at least 200 g Cequivalent m−2 yr−1). Comparing different studies in wetlands and tundra ecosystems as related to latitude, we expect that global warming would rather increase than decrease the CO2-C sink.
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  • 3
    ISSN: 1365-2486
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Biology , Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Geography
    Notes: The Sixth and Seventh Conference of the Parties (COP 6 and 7) at The Hague, Bonn and Marrakesh came to a final Agreement on the Kyoto Protocol, which is thus ready for ratification by the individual nations. The Agreement was only achieved by allowing countries to offset their fossil fuel emission targets (on average 95% of the 1990 emissions) by increasing biological carbon sequestration, and by trading carbon credits. Activities that would count as increasing biological carbon sequestration include afforestation and reforestation, and changes in management of agriculture and forestry. According to the Agreement reached in Marrakesh, biological carbon sequestration may reach an offset of up to 80% of the required reduction in fossil fuel emissions (4% of the 5% reduction commitment). We explain why the allowable offset rose as high during the course of the negotiations. It is highlighted that major unintended consequences may be a result of the policy as it stands in the Marrakesh Accord. Major losses of biodiversity and primary forest are expected. We present scientific concerns regarding verification, which lead to scientific doubts that the practices encouraged by the Agreement can actually increase sequestration under a full carbon accounting scheme. We explain that there is a ‘win-win’ option that would protect high carbon pools and biodiversity in an economically efficient way. But, this is not supported by the Agreement. Despite the very positive signal that most nations of the United Nations will devote major efforts towards climate protection, there remains a most urgent need to develop additional rules to avoid unintended outcomes, and to promote the ‘win-win’ options that we explain.
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  • 4
    ISSN: 1365-2486
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Biology , Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Geography
    Notes: Based on review and original data, this synthesis investigates carbon pools and fluxes of Siberian and European forests (600 and 300 million ha, respectively). We examine the productivity of ecosystems, expressed as positive rate when the amount of carbon in the ecosystem increases, while (following micrometeorological convention) downward fluxes from the atmosphere to the vegetation (NEE = Net Ecosystem Exchange) are expressed as negative numbers. Productivity parameters are Net Primary Productivity (NPP=whole plant growth), Net Ecosystem Productivity (NEP = CO2 assimilation minus ecosystem respiration), and Net Biome Productivity (NBP = NEP minus carbon losses through disturbances bypassing respiration, e.g. by fire and logging). Based on chronosequence studies and national forestry statistics we estimate a low average NPP for boreal forests in Siberia: 123 gC m–2 y–1. This contrasts with a similar calculation for Europe which suggests a much higher average NPP of 460 gC m–2 y–1 for the forests there. Despite a smaller area, European forests have a higher total NPP than Siberia (1.2–1.6 vs. 0.6–0.9 × 1015 gC region–1 y–1). This arises as a consequence of differences in growing season length, climate and nutrition. For a chronosequence of Pinus sylvestris stands studied in central Siberia during summer, NEE was most negative in a 67-y old stand regenerating after fire (– 192 mmol m–2 d–1) which is close to NEE in a cultivated forest of Germany (– 210 mmol m–2 d–1). Considerable net ecosystem CO2-uptake was also measured in Siberia in 200- and 215-y old stands (NEE:174 and – 63 mmol m–2 d–1) while NEP of 7- and 13-y old logging areas were close to the ecosystem compensation point. Two Siberian bogs and a bog in European Russia were also significant carbon sinks (– 102 to – 104 mmol m–2 d–1). Integrated over a growing season (June to September) we measured a total growing season NEE of – 14 mol m–2 summer–1 (– 168 gC m–2 summer–1) in a 200-y Siberian pine stand and – 5 mol m–2 summer–1 (– 60 gC m–2 summer–1) in Siberian and European Russian bogs. By contrast, over the same period, a spruce forest in European Russia was a carbon source to the atmosphere of (NEE: + 7 mol m–2 summer–1 = + 84 gC m–2 summer–1). Two years after a windthrow in European Russia, with all trees being uplifted and few successional species, lost 16 mol C m–2 to the atmosphere over a 3-month in summer, compared to the cumulative NEE over a growing season in a German forest of – 15.5 mol m–2 summer–1 (– 186 gC m–2 summer–1; European flux network annual averaged – 205 gC m–2 y–1). Differences in CO2-exchange rates coincided with differences in the Bowen ratio, with logging areas partitioning most incoming radiation into sensible heat whereas bogs partitioned most into evaporation (latent heat). Effects of these different surface energy exchanges on local climate (convective storms and fires) and comparisons with the Canadian BOREAS experiment are discussed. Following a classification of disturbances and their effects on ecosystem carbon balances, fire and logging are discussed as the main processes causing carbon losses that bypass heterotrophic respiration in Siberia. Following two approaches, NBP was estimated to be only about 13–16 mmol m–2 y–1 for Siberia. It may reach 67 mmol m–2 y–1 in North America, and about 140–400 mmol m–2 y–1 in Scandinavia. We conclude that fire speeds up the carbon cycle, but that it results also in long-term carbon sequestration by charcoal formation. For at least 14 years after logging, regrowth forests remain net sources of CO2 to the atmosphere. This has important implications regarding the effects of Siberian forest management on atmospheric concentrations. For many years after logging has taken place, regrowth forests remain weaker sinks for atmospheric CO2 than are nearby old-growth forests.
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  • 5
    ISSN: 1365-2486
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Biology , Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Geography
    Notes: Eddy covariance was used to measure the net CO2 exchange (NEE) over ecosystems differing in land use (forest and agriculture) in Thuringia, Germany. Measurements were carried out at a managed, even-aged European beech stand (Fagus sylvatica, 70–150 years old), an unmanaged, uneven-aged mixed beech stand in a late stage of development (F. sylvatica, Fraxinus excelsior, Acer pseudoplantanus, and other hardwood trees, 0–250 years old), a managed young Norway spruce stand (Picea abies, 50 years old), and an agricultural field growing winter wheat in 2001, and potato in 2002. Large contrasts were found in NEE rates between the land uses of the ecosystems. The managed and unmanaged beech sites had very similar net CO2 uptake rates (∼−480 to −500 g C m−2 yr−1). Main differences in seasonal NEE patterns between the beech sites were because of a later leaf emergence and higher maximum leaf area index at the unmanaged beech site, probably as a result of the species mix at the site. In contrast, the spruce stand had a higher CO2 uptake in spring but substantially lower net CO2 uptake in summer than the beech stands. This resulted in a near neutral annual NEE (−4 g C m−2 yr−1), mainly attributable to an ecosystem respiration rate almost twice as high as that of the beech stands, despite slightly lower temperatures, because of the higher elevation. Crops in the agricultural field had high CO2 uptake rates, but growing season length was short compared with the forest ecosystems. Therefore, the agricultural land had low-to-moderate annual net CO2 uptake (−34 to −193 g C m−2), but with annual harvest taken into account it will be a source of CO2 (+97 to +386 g C m−2). The annually changing patchwork of crops will have strong consequences on the regions' seasonal and annual carbon exchange. Thus, not only land use, but also land-use history and site-specific management decisions affect the large-scale carbon balance.
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