Articles | Volume 19, issue 11
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-19-2921-2022
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-19-2921-2022
Research article
 | 
15 Jun 2022
Research article |  | 15 Jun 2022

Massive warming-induced carbon loss from subalpine grassland soils in an altitudinal transplantation experiment

Matthias Volk, Matthias Suter, Anne-Lena Wahl, and Seraina Bassin

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Short summary
Because soils are an important sink for greenhouse gasses, we subjected sub-alpine grassland to a six-level climate change treatment. Two independent methods showed that at warming > 1.5 °C the grassland ecosystem lost ca. 14 % or ca. 1 kg C m−2 in 5 years. This shrinking of the terrestrial C sink implies a substantial positive feedback to the atmospheric greenhouse effect. It is likely that this dramatic C loss is a transient effect before a new, climate-adjusted steady state is reached.
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