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Impact of lower atmospheric carbon dioxide on tropical mountain ecosystems

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

  • F. A. StreetPerrott
  • Y. S. Huang
  • R. A. Perrott
  • G. Eglinton
  • P. Barker
  • L. BenKhelifa
  • D. D. Harkness
  • D. O. Olago
Journal publication date21/11/1997
JournalScience
Journal number5342
Volume278
Number of pages5
Pages1422-1426
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Carbon-isotope values of bulk organic matter from high-altitude lakes on Mount Kenya and Mount Elgon, East Africa, were 10 to 14 per mil higher during glacial times than they are today. Compound-specific isotope analyses of leaf waxes and algal biomarkers show that organisms possessing CO2-concentrating mechanisms, including C4 grasses and freshwater algae, were primarily responsible for this large increase. Carbon limitation due to lower ambient CO2 partial pressures had a significant impact on the distribution of forest on the tropical mountains, in addition to climate. Hence, tree line elevation should not be used to infer palaeotemperatures.

Bibliographic note

Nov 21 Impact of lower atmospheric carbon dioxide on tropical mountain ecosystems Times Cited: 187