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Keywords:

  • carbon cycle;
  • climate change;
  • CO2 fertilization;
  • ecosystem model;
  • FACE;
  • forest response;
  • LPJ-GUESS;
  • NPP;
  • photosynthesis;
  • Rubisco

Abstract

Results from free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) experiments in temperate climates indicate that the response of forest net primary productivity (NPP) to elevated CO2 might be highly conserved across a broad range of productivities. In this study, we show that the LPJ-GUESS dynamic vegetation model reproduces the magnitude of the NPP enhancement at temperate forest FACE experiments. A global application of the model suggests that the response found in the experiments might also be representative of the average response of forests globally. However, the predicted NPP enhancement in tropical forests is more than twice as high as in boreal forests, suggesting that currently available FACE results are not applicable to these ecosystems. The modeled geographic pattern is to a large extent driven by the temperature dependence of the relative affinities of the primary assimilation enzyme (Rubisco) for CO2 and O2.