Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Can Future CO2 Concentrations Mitigate the Negative Effects of High Temperature and Longer Droughts on Forest Growth?

Version 1 : Received: 23 July 2018 / Approved: 24 July 2018 / Online: 24 July 2018 (05:34:08 CEST)

How to cite: Gustafson, E.J.; Miranda, B.R.; Sturtevant, B.R. Can Future CO2 Concentrations Mitigate the Negative Effects of High Temperature and Longer Droughts on Forest Growth?. Preprints 2018, 2018070439 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201807.0439.v1). Gustafson, E.J.; Miranda, B.R.; Sturtevant, B.R. Can Future CO2 Concentrations Mitigate the Negative Effects of High Temperature and Longer Droughts on Forest Growth?. Preprints 2018, 2018070439 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201807.0439.v1).

Abstract

1) Background: Climate change may subject forests to climate conditions to which they are not adapted.  Elevated temperatures reduce net photosynthesis by increasing respiration rates and increasingly long droughts dramatically increase morbidity.  CO2 enrichment enhances productivity, but it is not clear to what extent CO2 enrichment can offset the negative effects of elevated temperatures and longer droughts. 2) Methods: We used a mechanistic landscape model to conduct controlled simulation experiments manipulating CO2 concentration, temperature, drought length and soil water capacity. 3) Results: We found that elevated CO2 stimulates productivity such that it dwarfs the negative effect caused by elevated temperature. Energy reserves were not as strongly mitigated by elevated CO2, and mortality of less competitive cohorts increased.  Drought length had a surprisingly small effect on productivity measures, but had a marked negative effect on mortality risk. 4) Conclusions: Elevated CO2 compensated for the negative effect of longer droughts in terms of productivity measures, but not survival measures. 

Subject Areas

climate change; temperature stress; drought; elevated CO2; soil water; forest succession; mechanistic landscape model; LANDIS-II; PnET-Succession

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