The impact of nitrogen deposition on carbon sequestration by European forests and heathlands Journal Article uri icon

DCO ID 11121/6526-2477-8484-2010-CC

in language

  • eng

year of publication

  • 2009


  • In this study, we present estimated ranges in carbon (C) sequestration per kg nitrogen (N) addition in above-ground biomass and in soil organic matter for forests and heathlands, based on: (i) empirical relations between spatial patterns of carbon uptake and influencing environmental factors including nitrogen deposition (forests only), (ii) (15)N field experiments, (iii) long-term low-dose N fertilizer experiments and (iv) results from ecosystem models. The results of the various studies are in close agreement and show that above-ground accumulation of carbon in forests is generally within the range 15-40 kg C/kg N. For heathlands, a range of 5-15 kg C/kg N has been observed based on low-dose N fertilizer experiments. The uncertainty in C sequestration per kg N addition in soils is larger than for above-ground biomass and varies on average between 5 and 35 kg C/kg N for both forests and heathlands. All together these data indicate a total carbon sequestration range of 5-75 kg C/kg N deposition for forest and heathlands, with a most common range of 20-40 kg C/kg N. Results cannot be extrapolated to systems with very high N inputs, nor to other ecosystems, such as peatlands, where the impact of N is much more variable, and may range from C sequestration to C losses. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


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