Heterotrophic respiration in disturbed forests : a review with examples from North America
Harmon, Mark E.
MetadataShow full item record
Heterotrophic respiration (RH) is a major process releasing carbon to the atmosphere and is essential to understanding carbon dynamics in terrestrial ecosystems. Here we review what is known about this flux as related to forest disturbance using examples from North America. The global RH flux from soils has been estimated at 53–57 Pg C yr−1, but this does not include contributions from other sources (i.e., dead wood, heart-rots). Disturbance-related inputs likely account for 20–50% of all RH losses in forests, and disturbances lead to a reorganization of ecosystem carbon pools that influences how RH changes over succession. Multiple controls on RH related to climate, the material being decomposed, and the decomposers involved have been identified, but how each potentially interacts with disturbance remains an open question. An emerging paradigm of carbon dynamics suggests the possibility of multiple periods of carbon sinks and sources following disturbance; a large contributing factor is the possibility that postdisturbance RH does not always follow the monotonic decline assumed in the classic theory. Without a better understanding and modeling of RH and its controlling factors, it will be difficult to estimate, forecast, understand, and manage carbon balances of regions in which disturbance frequency and severity are changing. Meeting this challenge will require (1) improved field data on processes and stores, (2) an improved understanding of the physiological and environmental controls of RH, and (3) a more formal analysis of how model structure influences the RH responses that can be predicted.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2011. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Geophysical Research 116 (2011): G00K04, doi:10.1029/2010JG001495.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Strasser, Carly A.; Neubert, Michael G.; Caswell, Hal; Hunter, Christine M. (Springer, 2010-12-31)Studies of time-invariant matrix metapopulation models indicate that metapopulation growth rate is usually more sensitive to the vital rates of individuals in high-quality (i.e., good) patches than in low-quality (i.e., ...
Sen, Indra S.; Peucker-Ehrenbrink, Bernhard (2012-07)The extent to which humans are modifying Earth’s surface chemistry can be quantified by comparing total anthropogenic element fluxes with their natural counterparts (Klee & Graedel, 2004). We quantify anthropogenic mass ...
Effects of climate change and anthropogenic modification on a disturbance-dependent species in a large riverine system Zeigler, Sara L.; Catlin, Daniel H.; Brown, Mary Bomberger; Fraser, James D.; Dinan, Lauren R.; Hunt, Kelsi L.; Jorgensen, Joel G.; Karpanty, Sarah M. (John Wiley & Sons, 2017-01-11)Humans have altered nearly every natural disturbance regime on the planet through climate and land-use change, and in many instances, these processes may have interacting effects. For example, projected shifts in temperature ...