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The biosphere as an increasing sink for atmospheric carbon: estimates from increased nitrogen deposition

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • Estimates of carbon uptake and storage based on global nitrogen deposition, C:N ratios for typical terrestrial ecosystems, and recent ecosystem-scale nutrient studies indicate that 1.0- 2.3 Gt C yr-1 of carbon storage may be stimulated by anthropogenically caused increases in nitrogen deposition in the past century. Sixty four to eighty four percent of global nitrogen uptake appears to occur on northern continents, with the remainder largely in northern coastal oceans. Increased nitrogen input by terrestrial ecosystems causes increased accumulation of carbon as plant tissue, with C:N ratios generally 50 to 200:1. Calculations suggest that northern continents are a major sink for carbon and that nitrogen-stimulated carbon uptake may more or less balance global carbon losses to the atmosphere from deforestation and agriculture. Much of the uptake appears to occur in aggrading forests, and the question of how long it can continue has important consequences for global carbon budgets.

  • Date created
    1993
  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Type of Item
    Article (Published)
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3QZ22K7M
  • License
    An edited version of this paper was published by AGU. Copyright 1993 American Geophysical Union.
  • Language
  • Citation for previous publication
    • Schindler, D. W., & Bayley, S. E. (1993). The biosphere as an increasing sink for atmospheric carbon: estimates from increased nitrogen deposition. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 7(4), 717-733. DOI: 10.1029/93gb02562