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Soil heterotrophic respiration (HR) is an important component of land–atmosphere carbon exchange but is difficult to observe globally. We analyzed the imprint that this flux leaves on atmospheric CO2 using a set of simulations from HR models with common inputs. Models that represent microbial processes are more variable and have stronger temperature sensitivity than those that do not. Our results show that we can use atmospheric CO2 observations to evaluate and improve models of HR.
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BG | Articles | Volume 17, issue 5
Biogeosciences, 17, 1293–1308, 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-17-1293-2020
Biogeosciences, 17, 1293–1308, 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-17-1293-2020

Research article 13 Mar 2020

Research article | 13 Mar 2020

Leveraging the signature of heterotrophic respiration on atmospheric CO2 for model benchmarking

Samantha J. Basile et al.

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Cited articles

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Arora, V. K., Boer, G. J., Friedlingstein, P., Eby, M., Jones, C. D., Christian, J. R., Bonan, G., Bopp, L., Brovkin, V., Cadule, P., Hajima, T., Ilyina, T., Lindsay, K., Tjiputra, J. F., and Wu, T.: Carbon-concentration and carbon-climate feedbacks in CMIP5 earth system models, J. Clim., 26, 5289–5314, https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00494.1, 2013. 
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Barba, J., Cueva, A., Bahn, M., Barron-Gafford, G. A., Bond-Lamberty, B., Hanson, P. J., Jaimes, A., Kulmala, L., Pumpanen, J., Scott, R. L., Wohlfahrt, G., and Vargas, R.: Comparing ecosystem and soil respiration: Review and key challenges of tower-based and soil measurements, Agr. Forest Meteorol., 249, 434–443, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agrformet.2017.10.028, 2018. 
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Short summary
Soil heterotrophic respiration (HR) is an important component of land–atmosphere carbon exchange but is difficult to observe globally. We analyzed the imprint that this flux leaves on atmospheric CO2 using a set of simulations from HR models with common inputs. Models that represent microbial processes are more variable and have stronger temperature sensitivity than those that do not. Our results show that we can use atmospheric CO2 observations to evaluate and improve models of HR.
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Final-revised paper
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