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Nitrogen Controls on Carbon Sequestration J. Melillo 1, D. Kicklighter 1, H. Tian 1, A. McGuire 2, J. Clein 2, B. Moore III 3 1 Marine.

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Presentation on theme: "Nitrogen Controls on Carbon Sequestration J. Melillo 1, D. Kicklighter 1, H. Tian 1, A. McGuire 2, J. Clein 2, B. Moore III 3 1 Marine."— Presentation transcript:

1 Nitrogen Controls on Carbon Sequestration J. Melillo 1, D. Kicklighter 1, H. Tian 1, A. McGuire 2, J. Clein 2, B. Moore III 3 1 Marine Biological Laboratory 2 University of Alaska 3 University of New Hampshire

2 The Global Nitrogen (N) Cycle and Carbon Sequestration Fact: Humans have more than doubled the rate at which reactive N is added to the biosphere annually. Fact: Through fertilizer production, the planting of legumes, and high temperature combustion, humans transform about 150 TgN annually from unreactive N to reactive N. Fact: A fraction of this reactive N enters ecosystems in which carbon sequestration is N limited. Question: Is N-stimulated carbon sequestration currently a significant component of the global carbon budget?

3 Approach We used a process-based biogeochemistry model running with an open N cycle to estimate the annual N- stimulated carbon sequestration rate in North America. The current spatially explicit N- deposition pattern for the region was estimated using the results of Dentner and Crutzen.

4 Nitrogen Deposition in North America (>15 0 N)

5 Annual N-deposition Rates Tg N/yr All land Forest only North America USA Canada Other0.70.2

6 N-Stimulated Carbon Storage g C /m 2 /yr

7

8 Carbon Sequestration in North America (PgC) N- Other All stimulated Mechanisms USA Canada Other North America

9 Conclusions We estimate that N-stimulate carbon sequestration accounts for about ¼ of the current C sink in North America. Other important mechanisms include land cover and land use changes and CO 2 fertilization. Biogeochemistry models used in carbon-cycle studies must include coupled C-N cycles.


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