Nitrogen Deposition Maintains a Positive Effect on Terrestrial Carbon Sequestration in the 21st Century Despite Growing Phosphorus Limitation at Regional Scales

Katrin Fleischer, A. J. Dolman, Michiel K. van der Molen, Karin T. Rebel, Jan Willem Erisman, Martin J. Wassen, Bernard Pak, Xingjie Lu, Anja Rammig, Ying Ping Wang

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) are two dominant nutrients regulating the productivity of most terrestrial ecosystems. The growing imbalance of anthropogenic N and P inputs into the future is estimated to exacerbate P limitation on land and limit the land carbon (C) sink, so that we hypothesized that P limitation will increasingly reduce C sequestered per unit N deposited into the future. Using a global land surface model (CABLE), we simulated the effects of increased N deposition with and without P limitation on land C uptake and the fate of deposited N on land from 1901 to 2100. Contrary to our hypothesis, we found that N deposition continued to induce land C sequestration into the future, contributing to 15% of future C sequestration as opposed to 6% over the historical period. P limitation reduced the future land C uptake per unit N deposited only moderately at the global scale but P limitation increasingly caused N deposition to have net negative effects on the land C balance in the temperate zone. P limitation further increased the fraction of deposited N that is lost via leaching to aquatic ecosystems, globally from 38.5% over the historical period to 53% into the future, and up to 75% in tropical ecosystems. Our results suggest continued N demand for plant productivity but also indicate growing adverse N deposition effects in the future biosphere, not fully accounted for in global models, emphasizing the urgent need to elaborate on model representations of N and P dynamics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)810-824
Number of pages15
JournalGlobal Biogeochemical Cycles
Volume33
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019

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twenty first century
carbon sequestration
Phosphorus
Nitrogen
Carbon
phosphorus
nitrogen
Ecosystems
Productivity
Aquatic ecosystems
Leaching
Nutrients
productivity
effect
land
terrestrial ecosystem
aquatic ecosystem
biosphere
land surface
leaching

Keywords

  • carbon sequestration
  • land carbon sink
  • nitrogen deposition
  • nitrogen fixation
  • phosphorus limitation
  • terrestrial ecosystems

Cite this

Fleischer, Katrin ; Dolman, A. J. ; van der Molen, Michiel K. ; Rebel, Karin T. ; Erisman, Jan Willem ; Wassen, Martin J. ; Pak, Bernard ; Lu, Xingjie ; Rammig, Anja ; Wang, Ying Ping. / Nitrogen Deposition Maintains a Positive Effect on Terrestrial Carbon Sequestration in the 21st Century Despite Growing Phosphorus Limitation at Regional Scales. In: Global Biogeochemical Cycles. 2019 ; Vol. 33, No. 6. pp. 810-824.
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abstract = "Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) are two dominant nutrients regulating the productivity of most terrestrial ecosystems. The growing imbalance of anthropogenic N and P inputs into the future is estimated to exacerbate P limitation on land and limit the land carbon (C) sink, so that we hypothesized that P limitation will increasingly reduce C sequestered per unit N deposited into the future. Using a global land surface model (CABLE), we simulated the effects of increased N deposition with and without P limitation on land C uptake and the fate of deposited N on land from 1901 to 2100. Contrary to our hypothesis, we found that N deposition continued to induce land C sequestration into the future, contributing to 15{\%} of future C sequestration as opposed to 6{\%} over the historical period. P limitation reduced the future land C uptake per unit N deposited only moderately at the global scale but P limitation increasingly caused N deposition to have net negative effects on the land C balance in the temperate zone. P limitation further increased the fraction of deposited N that is lost via leaching to aquatic ecosystems, globally from 38.5{\%} over the historical period to 53{\%} into the future, and up to 75{\%} in tropical ecosystems. Our results suggest continued N demand for plant productivity but also indicate growing adverse N deposition effects in the future biosphere, not fully accounted for in global models, emphasizing the urgent need to elaborate on model representations of N and P dynamics.",
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Nitrogen Deposition Maintains a Positive Effect on Terrestrial Carbon Sequestration in the 21st Century Despite Growing Phosphorus Limitation at Regional Scales. / Fleischer, Katrin; Dolman, A. J.; van der Molen, Michiel K.; Rebel, Karin T.; Erisman, Jan Willem; Wassen, Martin J.; Pak, Bernard; Lu, Xingjie; Rammig, Anja; Wang, Ying Ping.

In: Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Vol. 33, No. 6, 01.06.2019, p. 810-824.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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AU - Fleischer, Katrin

AU - Dolman, A. J.

AU - van der Molen, Michiel K.

AU - Rebel, Karin T.

AU - Erisman, Jan Willem

AU - Wassen, Martin J.

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AU - Lu, Xingjie

AU - Rammig, Anja

AU - Wang, Ying Ping

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AB - Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) are two dominant nutrients regulating the productivity of most terrestrial ecosystems. The growing imbalance of anthropogenic N and P inputs into the future is estimated to exacerbate P limitation on land and limit the land carbon (C) sink, so that we hypothesized that P limitation will increasingly reduce C sequestered per unit N deposited into the future. Using a global land surface model (CABLE), we simulated the effects of increased N deposition with and without P limitation on land C uptake and the fate of deposited N on land from 1901 to 2100. Contrary to our hypothesis, we found that N deposition continued to induce land C sequestration into the future, contributing to 15% of future C sequestration as opposed to 6% over the historical period. P limitation reduced the future land C uptake per unit N deposited only moderately at the global scale but P limitation increasingly caused N deposition to have net negative effects on the land C balance in the temperate zone. P limitation further increased the fraction of deposited N that is lost via leaching to aquatic ecosystems, globally from 38.5% over the historical period to 53% into the future, and up to 75% in tropical ecosystems. Our results suggest continued N demand for plant productivity but also indicate growing adverse N deposition effects in the future biosphere, not fully accounted for in global models, emphasizing the urgent need to elaborate on model representations of N and P dynamics.

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KW - land carbon sink

KW - nitrogen deposition

KW - nitrogen fixation

KW - phosphorus limitation

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