Convergence of potential net ecosystem production among contrasting C3 grasslands

Authors

  • Matthias Peichl,

    Corresponding author
    1. Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Ecology & Management, Umeå, Sweden
    2. University College Cork, Center for Hydrology, Micrometeorology & Climate Change, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Cork, Rep. of Ireland
    Current affiliation:
    1. Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Ecology & Management, Umeå, Sweden
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  • Oliver Sonnentag,

    1. Université de Montréal, Département de Géographie, Montréal, QC, Canada
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  • Georg Wohlfahrt,

    1. Universität Innsbruck, Institut für Ökologie, Innsbruck, Austria
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  • Lawrence B. Flanagan,

    1. University of Lethbridge, Department of Biological Sciences, Lethbridge, AB, Canada
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  • Dennis D. Baldocchi,

    1. University of California at Berkeley, Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, Ecosystem Sciences Division, Berkeley, CA, USA
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  • Gerard Kiely,

    1. University College Cork, Center for Hydrology, Micrometeorology & Climate Change, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Cork, Rep. of Ireland
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  • Marta Galvagno,

    1. Environmental Protection Agency of Aosta Valley, ARPA Valle d'Aosta, Climate Change Unit, Aosta, Italy
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  • Damiano Gianelle,

    1. Fondazione Edmund Mach, IASMA Research and Innovation Centre, Sustainable Agro-ecosystems and Bioresources Department, San Michele all'Adige, TN, Italy
    2. Fondazione Edmund Mach, IASMA Research and Innovation Centre, FOXLAB, San Michele all'Adige, TN, Italy
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  • Barbara Marcolla,

    1. Fondazione Edmund Mach, IASMA Research and Innovation Centre, Sustainable Agro-ecosystems and Bioresources Department, San Michele all'Adige, TN, Italy
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  • Casimiro Pio,

    1. University of Aveiro, CESAM & Department of Environment, Aveiro, Portugal
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  • Mirco Migliavacca,

    1. European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC), Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Climate Risk Management Unit, Ispra, VA, Italy
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  • Michael B. Jones,

    1. University of Dublin, Botany Department, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
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  • Matthew Saunders

    1. University College Dublin, School of Biology & Environmental Science, Dublin, Ireland
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Abstract

Metabolic theory and body size constraints on biomass production and decomposition suggest that differences in the intrinsic potential net ecosystem production (NEPPOT) should be small among contrasting C3 grasslands and therefore unable to explain the wide range in the annual apparent net ecosystem production (NEPAPP) reported by previous studies. We estimated NEPPOT for nine C3 grasslands under contrasting climate and management regimes using multiyear eddy covariance data. NEPPOT converged within a narrow range, suggesting little difference in the net carbon dioxide uptake capacity among C3 grasslands. Our results indicate a unique feature of C3 grasslands compared with other terrestrial ecosystems and suggest a state of stability in NEPPOT due to tightly coupled production and respiration processes. Consequently, the annual NEPAPP of C3 grasslands is primarily a function of seasonal and short-term environmental and management constraints, and therefore especially susceptible to changes in future climate patterns and associated adaptation of management practices.

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