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Forests 2017, 8(8), 267; doi:10.3390/f8080267

Earth System Model Needs for Including the Interactive Representation of Nitrogen Deposition and Drought Effects on Forested Ecosystems

1
Environmental Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL 60493, USA
2
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Illinois, Chicago, IL 60607, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Carl Beierkuhnlein and Andreas Bolte
Received: 9 May 2017 / Revised: 15 July 2017 / Accepted: 24 July 2017 / Published: 27 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Impacts on the Dynamics of Forest Ecosystems)
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Abstract

One of the biggest uncertainties of climate change is determining the response of vegetation to many co-occurring stressors. In particular, many forests are experiencing increased nitrogen deposition and are expected to suffer in the future from increased drought frequency and intensity. Interactions between drought and nitrogen deposition are antagonistic and non-additive, which makes predictions of vegetation response dependent on multiple factors. The tools we use (Earth system models) to evaluate the impact of climate change on the carbon cycle are ill equipped to capture the physiological feedbacks and dynamic responses of ecosystems to these types of stressors. In this manuscript, we review the observed effects of nitrogen deposition and drought on vegetation as they relate to productivity, particularly focusing on carbon uptake and partitioning. We conclude there are several areas of model development that can improve the predicted carbon uptake under increasing nitrogen deposition and drought. This includes a more flexible framework for carbon and nitrogen partitioning, dynamic carbon allocation, better representation of root form and function, age and succession dynamics, competition, and plant modeling using trait-based approaches. These areas of model development have the potential to improve the forecasting ability and reduce the uncertainty of climate models. View Full-Text
Keywords: nitrogen deposition; drought; carbon cycle; stress; models nitrogen deposition; drought; carbon cycle; stress; models
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Drewniak, B.; Gonzalez-Meler, M.A. Earth System Model Needs for Including the Interactive Representation of Nitrogen Deposition and Drought Effects on Forested Ecosystems. Forests 2017, 8, 267.

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