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Rising Atmospheric CO2 Reduces Sequestration of Root-Derived Soil Carbon.

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>9/09/2005
<mark>Journal</mark>Science
Issue number5741
Volume309
Number of pages3
Pages (from-to)1711-1713
<mark>State</mark>Published
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Forests have a key role as carbon sinks, which could potentially mitigate the continuing increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration and associated climate change. We show that carbon dioxide enrichment, although causing short-term growth stimulation in a range of European tree species, also leads to an increase in soil microbial respiration and a marked decline in sequestration of root-derived carbon in the soil. These findings indicate that, should similar processes operate in forest ecosystems, the size of the annual terrestrial carbon sink may be substantially reduced, resulting in a positive feedback on the rate of increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration.