Quantitative assessment of carbon sequestration reduction induced by disturbances in temperate Eurasian steppe
Chen, Yizhao ; Ju, Weimin ; Groisman, Pavel ; Li, Jianlong ; Propastin, Pavel ; Xu, Xia ; Zhou, Wei ; Ruan, Honghua
Citable Link (URL):http://resolver.sub.uni-goettingen.de/purl?gs-1/14892
Journal Article (Published version)
The temperate Eurasian steppe (TES) is a region where various environmental, social, and economic stresses converge. Multiple types of disturbance exist widely across the landscape, and heavily influence carbon cycling in this region. However, a current quantitative assessment of the impact of disturbances on carbon sequestration is largely lacking. In this study, we combined the boreal ecosystem productivity simulator (BEPS), the Shiyomi grazing model, and the global fire model (Glob-FIRM) to investigate the impact of the two major types of disturbance in the TES (i.e. domestic grazing and fire) on regional carbon sequestration. Model performance was validated using satellite data and field observations. Model outputs indicate that disturbance has a significant impact on carbon sequestration at a regional scale. The annual total carbon lost due to disturbances was 7.8 TgCyr−1, accounting for 14.2% of the total net ecosystem productivity (NEP). Domestic grazing plays the dominant role in terrestrial carbon consumption, accounting for 95% of the total carbon lost from the two disturbances. Carbon losses from both disturbances significantly increased from 1999 to 2008 (R2=0.82, P < 0.001 for grazing, R2=0.51, P<0.05 for fire). Heavy domestic grazing in relatively barren grasslands substantially reduced carbon sequestration, particularly in the grasslands of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and the far southwest of Inner Mongolia. This spatially-explicit information has potential implications for sustainable management of carbon sequestration in the vast grassland ecosystems.