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Open AccessArticle

Caution Is Needed in Quantifying Terrestrial Biomass Responses to Elevated Temperature: Meta-Analyses of Field-Based Experimental Warming Across China

1
College of Resources and Environment, Yunnan Agricultural University, Kunming 650201, China
2
Key Laboratory for Plant Diversity and Biogeography of East Asia, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650201, China
3
State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China
4
World Agroforestry Center, ICRAF East and Central Asia, Kunming 650201, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2018, 9(10), 619; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9100619
Received: 5 August 2018 / Revised: 21 September 2018 / Accepted: 26 September 2018 / Published: 9 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecophysiology and Biology)
Certainty over warming-induced biomass accumulation is essential for addressing climate change. However, no previous meta-analysis has investigated this accumulation across the whole of China; also unclear are the differences between herbaceous and woody species and across plant phylogeny, which are critical for corresponding re-vegetation. We extracted data from 90 field-based experiments to reveal general patterns and driving factors of biomass responses all over China. Based on traditional meta-analyses, a warmer temperature significantly increased above- (10.8%) and below-ground (14.2%) biomass accumulation. With increasing warming duration (WarmD) and plant clade age, both above-ground and below-ground biomass showed significant increases. However, for herbaceous versus woody plants, and the whole community versus its dominant species, responses were not always constant; the combined synergies would affect accumulative response patterns. When considering WarmD as a weight, decreases in total above-ground biomass response magnitude were presented, and the increase in below-ground biomass was no longer significant; notably, significant positive responses remained in tree species. However, if phylogenetic information was included in the calculations, all warming-induced plant biomass increases were not significant. Thus, it is still premature to speculate whether warming induces biomass increases in China; further long-term experiments are needed regarding phylogeny-based responses and interspecies relations, especially regarding woody plants and forests. View Full-Text
Keywords: above-ground biomass; below-ground biomass; meta-regression; phylogenetic meta-analyses; warming duration; plant clade age; herbaceous versus woody species above-ground biomass; below-ground biomass; meta-regression; phylogenetic meta-analyses; warming duration; plant clade age; herbaceous versus woody species
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Yan, K.; Zhang, S.; Luo, Y.; Wang, Z.; Zhai, D.; Xu, J.; Yang, H.; Ranjitkar, S. Caution Is Needed in Quantifying Terrestrial Biomass Responses to Elevated Temperature: Meta-Analyses of Field-Based Experimental Warming Across China. Forests 2018, 9, 619.

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