Articles | Volume 13, issue 3
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-13-675-2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-13-675-2016
Research article
 | 
04 Feb 2016
Research article |  | 04 Feb 2016

How have past fire disturbances contributed to the current carbon balance of boreal ecosystems?

C. Yue, P. Ciais, D. Zhu, T. Wang, S. S. Peng, and S. L. Piao

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Short summary
The pan-boreal biome (> N45°) removes CO2 from the atmosphere (i.e., it is a carbon sink). Fires can alter this carbon balance because they release CO2 to the atmosphere but also initiate a long-term carbon sink during post-fire vegetation recovery. We found that historical fires of 1850–2009 have a small net sink contribution (~6 %) to the 2000–2009 regional carbon sink, which is a balance between immediate source effect of fires in 2000–2009 and sink effects of those in 1850–1999.
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