Forest production efficiency increases with growth temperature

A. Collalti, A. Ibrom, A. Stockmarr, A. Cescatti, R. Alkama, M. Fernández-Martínez, G. Matteucci, S. Sitch, P. Friedlingstein, P. Ciais, D.S. Goll, J.E.M.S. Nabel, J. Pongratz, A. Arneth, V. Haverd, I.C. Prentice

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Received Date: 4th April 20

We present a global analysis of the relationship of forest production efficiency (FPE) to stand age and climate, based on a large compilation of data on gross primary production and either biomass production or net primary production. FPE is important for both forest production and atmospheric carbon dioxide uptake. Earlier findings – FPE declining with age – are supported by this analysis. However, FPE also increases with absolute latitude, precipitation and (all else equal) with temperature. The temperature effect is opposite to what would be expected based on the short-term physiological response of respiration rates to temperature. It implies top-down regulation of forest carbon loss, perhaps reflecting the higher carbon costs of nutrient acquisition in colder climates. Current ecosystem models do not reproduce this phenomenon. They consistently predict lower FPE in warmer climates, and are therefore likely to overestimate carbon losses in a warming climate.

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This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on an independent third party site. It has not been peer reviewed but is currently under consideration at Nature Communications.

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