Assessing carbon dynamics in semiarid ecosystems : Balancing potential gains with potential large rapid losses

PDF Version Also Available for Download.

Description

Photosynthesis and respiration are the largest fluxes into and out of the biosphere (Molles 1999). Consequently, small changes in these fluxes can potentially produce large changes in the storage of carbon in the biosphere. Terrestrial carbon fluxes account for more than half of the carbon transferred between the atmosphere and the earth's surface (about 120 GigaTons/year), and current stores of carbon in terrestrial ecosystem are estimated at 2060 GigaTons. Increasing attention is being focused on the role of managing and sequestering carbon in the terrestrial biosphere as a means for addressing global climate change (IGBP, 1998; U.S. Department of Energy, ... continued below

Physical Description

7 p.

Creation Information

Breshears, D. D. (David D.); Ebinger, M. H. (Michael H.) & Unkefer, P. J. (Pat J.) January 1, 2001.

Context

This article is part of the collection entitled: Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports and was provided by UNT Libraries Government Documents Department to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. More information about this article can be viewed below.

Who

People and organizations associated with either the creation of this article or its content.

Provided By

UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Serving as both a federal and a state depository library, the UNT Libraries Government Documents Department maintains millions of items in a variety of formats. The department is a member of the FDLP Content Partnerships Program and an Affiliated Archive of the National Archives.

Contact Us

What

Descriptive information to help identify this article. Follow the links below to find similar items on the Digital Library.

Description

Photosynthesis and respiration are the largest fluxes into and out of the biosphere (Molles 1999). Consequently, small changes in these fluxes can potentially produce large changes in the storage of carbon in the biosphere. Terrestrial carbon fluxes account for more than half of the carbon transferred between the atmosphere and the earth's surface (about 120 GigaTons/year), and current stores of carbon in terrestrial ecosystem are estimated at 2060 GigaTons. Increasing attention is being focused on the role of managing and sequestering carbon in the terrestrial biosphere as a means for addressing global climate change (IGBP, 1998; U.S. Department of Energy, 1999). Terrestrial ecosystems are widely recognized as a major biological scrubber for atmosphereic CO{sub 2} and their ability to finction as such can be increased significantly over the next 25 years through careful manipulation. The potential for terrestrial carbon gains has been the subject of much attention (Dixon et al., 1994; Masera et al. 1997; Cao and Woodward, 1998; DeLucia et al. 1999). In contrast to other strategies for reducing net carbon emissions, terrestrial sequestration has the potential for rapid implementation. Strategies that focus on soil carbon are likely to be effective because in addition to being a storage pool of carbon, soil carbon also improves site productivity through improving soil quality (e.g., water retention and nutrient availability). The carbon pool in soils is immense and highly dynamic. The flux of carbon into and out of soils is one of the largest uncertainties in the total mass balance of global carbon (NRC, 1999; La1 et al., 1998; Cambardella, 1998). Reducing these uncertainties is key to developing carbon sequestration strategies. Soil carbon pools have been greatly depleted over recent centuries, and there is potential to increase storage of carbon in these soils through effective land management. Whereas carbon in vegetation can be managed directly through land use, carbon in soils generally must be managed indirectly through manipulation of vegetation and nutrients. Land management as well as climate changes have the potential to increase soil carbon, but also could trigger large soil carbon losses. Recently, the importance of accounting for countervailing losses in assessing potential amounts of terrestrial carbon that can be sequestered has been highlighted (Schlesinger, 1999; Walker et al., 1999). Realistic assessment of terrestrial carbon sequestration strategies must consider net results of an applied strategy, not simply projected carbon gains. In addition, large, rapid losses of carbon resulting from carbon management strategies could exacerbate the global warming rather than mitigating it. Such potential losses include rapid loss of carbon in vegetation due to fire and rapid loss of soil carbon triggered by reductions in ground cover (e.g., fire, drought). Therefore, strategies for terrestrial carbon sequestration must determine how to increase terrestrial carbon while minimizing the risk of large-scale catastrophic losses. Our objectives in this paper are to (1) highlight approaches that are being considered in terms of terrestrial carbon sequestration, (2) highlight case studies for which large losses of carbon may occur, and (3) suggest future directions and application for terrestrial carbon sequestration.

Physical Description

7 p.

Source

  • "Submitted to: "Proceedings of the First National Conference on carbon Sequestration, May 14-17, 2001, Washington, DC". Sponsored by the National Energy Technology Laboratory.

Language

Item Type

Identifier

Unique identifying numbers for this article in the Digital Library or other systems.

  • Report No.: LA-UR-01-1129
  • Grant Number: none
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 975150
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc931146

Collections

This article is part of the following collection of related materials.

Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

What responsibilities do I have when using this article?

When

Dates and time periods associated with this article.

Creation Date

  • January 1, 2001

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

Description Last Updated

  • Dec. 12, 2016, 2:55 p.m.

Usage Statistics

When was this article last used?

Yesterday: 0
Past 30 days: 0
Total Uses: 2

Interact With This Article

Here are some suggestions for what to do next.

Start Reading

PDF Version Also Available for Download.

International Image Interoperability Framework

IIF Logo

We support the IIIF Presentation API

Breshears, D. D. (David D.); Ebinger, M. H. (Michael H.) & Unkefer, P. J. (Pat J.). Assessing carbon dynamics in semiarid ecosystems : Balancing potential gains with potential large rapid losses, article, January 1, 2001; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc931146/: accessed November 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.