Experiments on terrestrial carbon-cycling responses to global climate change

Added September 30, 2021

Citation: Song J, Wan S, Piao S, et al. A meta-analysis of 1,119 manipulative experiments on terrestrial carbon-cycling responses to global change. Nature Ecology & Evolution. 2019;3(9):1309-20.

Free to view: No.

What is this? A good understanding of how the terrestrial biosphere responds to global climate change is vital for planning for the impact of future climate change. Many experiments have been done to investigate this, looking at for example, how terrestrial ecosystems respond to climate change, changing precipitation and the enrichment of elevated CO2 and nitrogen (N).

In this systematic review, the authors searched for ecosystem manipulative experiments in global climate change research. They restricted their searches to articles published between 1973 and 2016. They included 2230 articles reporting on 1119 experiments.

What was found: Most of the experiments assessed single global change drivers (rather than multiple global change variables) in the USA, Europe and China.

Reported CO2 levels were within the future projections, but precipitation and nitrogen inputs were often higher than that projected in the experiments.

The authors concluded that there is a need to explore interaction between different global change drivers and that data are needed for additional regions such as semi-arid ecosystems, forests in tropics and subtropics, and Arctic tundra.


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