AmazonFACE Model Intercomparison.
Plant growth is dependent on the availability of nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium in the soil. Despite the importance of phosphorous in plant processes (e.g., growth and photosynthesis), global Earth system models used in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) have not previously included the effects of its availability in studying the global carbon cycle. This study shows that phosphorus availability could greatly reduce the projected CO2-induced carbon sink in Amazon rainforests. This study suggests that the Amazon rainforest response to increasing atmospheric CO2 depends on the ability of trees to upregulate phosphorus acquisition in response to increased carbon availability.
Currently, CMIP5 models predict that Amazon rainforests will continue to act as carbon sinks in the future due to the CO2 fertilization effect. However, the role of phosphorus availability (which is impoverished across the Amazon Basin yet controls forest functioning) has not been considered within CMIP5 simulations. This study suggests that the CMIP5 predicted carbon sink would likely be much less due to phosphorus limitation, suggesting that Amazon rainforests may be less resilient to climate change than previously assumed.
An ensemble of 14 terrestrial ecosystem models was used to simulate the planned free-air CO2 enrichment experiment, AmazonFACE. Model simulations showed that phosphorus availability reduced the projected CO2- induced carbon sink by about 50% compared to estimates from models assuming no phosphorus limitation.
Large variations in ecosystem responses to elevated CO2 among phosphorous-enabled models (ranging from 5 to 140 g C m-2 yr-2 in biomass carbon response) are mainly due to contrasting representations of plant phosphorus use and acquisition strategies among models. This study highlights the importance of phosphorus acquisition and use, including alternative strategies, in Amazon rainforest responses to increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration.
Contacts (BER PM)
Dan Stover and Sally McFarlane (SC-23.1)
email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeffrey Q. Chambers
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
DE-AC02-05CH11231 as part of the Next-Generation Ecosystem Experiments–Tropics (NGEE-Tropics) and Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM) programs.
Fleischer, K., A. Rammig, M. G. De Kauwe, A. P. Walker, T. F. Domingues, L. Fuchslueger, S. Garcia, D. Goll, A. Grandis, M. Jiang, V. E. Haverd, F. Hofhansl, J. Holm, B. Kruijt, F. Leung, B. Medlyn, L. M. Mercado, R. J. Norby, B. C. Pak, B. Quesada, C. von Randow, K. Schaap, O. Valverde-Barrantes, Y. Wang, X. Yang, S. Zaehle, Q. Zhu, and D. Lapola. “Amazon forest responses to CO2 fertilization dependent on plant phosphorus acquisition.” Nature Geoscience 12, 736–41 (2019). [DOI: 10.1038/s41561-019-0404-9]
SC-23.1 Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER
BER supports basic research and scientific user facilities to advance DOE missions in energy and environment. More about BER
Aug 24, 2019
New Approach for Studying How Microbes Influence Their Environment
A diverse group of scientists suggests a common framework and targeting of known microbial processes [more...]
Aug 08, 2019
Nutrient-Hungry Peatland Microbes Reduce Carbon Loss Under Warmer Conditions
Enzyme production in peatlands reduces carbon lost to respiration under future high temperatures. [more...]
Aug 05, 2019
Amazon Forest Response to CO2 Fertilization Dependent on Plant Phosphorus Acquisition
AmazonFACE Model Intercomparison. The Science Plant growth is dependent on the availabi [more...]
Jul 29, 2019
A Slippery Slope: Soil Carbon Destabilization
Carbon gain or loss depends on the balance between competing biological, chemical, and physical reac [more...]
Jul 15, 2019
Field Evaluation of Gas Analyzers for Measuring Ecosystem Fluxes
How gas analyzer type and correction method impact measured fluxes. The Science A side- [more...]
List all highlights (possible long download time)