Lagged effects regulate the inter-annual variability of the tropical carbon balance.

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From: Biogeosciences(Vol. 17, Issue 24)
Publisher: Copernicus GmbH
Document Type: Article
Length: 425 words

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Abstract :

Inter-annual variations in the tropical land carbon (C) balance are a dominant component of the global atmospheric CO.sub.2 growth rate. Currently, the lack of quantitative knowledge on processes controlling net tropical ecosystem C balance on inter-annual timescales inhibits accurate understanding and projections of land-atmosphere C exchanges. In particular, uncertainty on the relative contribution of ecosystem C fluxes attributable to concurrent forcing anomalies (concurrent effects) and those attributable to the continuing influence of past phenomena (lagged effects) stifles efforts to explicitly understand the integrated sensitivity of a tropical ecosystem to climatic variability. Here we present a conceptual framework - applicable in principle to any land biosphere model - to explicitly quantify net biospheric exchange (NBE) as the sum of anomaly-induced concurrent changes and climatology-induced lagged changes to terrestrial ecosystem C states (NBE = NBE.sup.CON +NBE.sup.LAG). We apply this framework to an observation-constrained analysis of the 2001-2015 tropical C balance: we use a data-model integration approach (CARbon DAta-MOdel fraMework - CARDAMOM) to merge satellite-retrieved land-surface C observations (leaf area, biomass, solar-induced fluorescence), soil C inventory data and satellite-based atmospheric inversion estimates of CO.sub.2 and CO fluxes to produce a data-constrained analysis of the 2001-2015 tropical C cycle. We find that the inter-annual variability of both concurrent and lagged effects substantially contributes to the 2001-2015 NBE inter-annual variability throughout 2001-2015 across the tropics (NBE.sup.CON IAV = 80 % of total NBE IAV, r = 0.76; NBE.sup.LAG IAV = 64 % of NBE IAV, r = 0.61), and the prominence of NBE.sup.LAG IAV persists across both wet and dry tropical ecosystems. The magnitude of lagged effect variations on NBE across the tropics is largely attributable to lagged effects on net primary productivity (NPP; NPP.sup.LAG IAV 113 % of NBE.sup.LAG IAV, r = -0.93, p value

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A645378973