Articles | Volume 8, issue 6
Biogeosciences, 8, 1453–1463, 2011
Biogeosciences, 8, 1453–1463, 2011

Research article 06 Jun 2011

Research article | 06 Jun 2011

Thermal adaptation of net ecosystem exchange

W. Yuan1,2, Y. Luo2, S. Liang1,3, G. Yu4, S. Niu2,5, P. Stoy6, J. Chen7, A. R. Desai8, A. Lindroth9, C. M. Gough10, R. Ceulemans11, A. Arain12, C. Bernhofer13, B. Cook14, D. R. Cook15, D. Dragoni16, B. Gielen11, I. A. Janssens11, B. Longdoz17, H. Liu18, M. Lund19, G. Matteucci20, E. Moors21, R. L. Scott22, G. Seufert23, and R. Varner24 W. Yuan et al.
  • 1College of Global Change and Earth System Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
  • 2Department of Botany and Microbiology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019, USA
  • 3Department of Geography, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA
  • 4Key Laboratory of Ecosystem Network Observation and Modeling, Synthesis Research Center of Chinese Ecosystem Research Network, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
  • 5State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiangshan, Beijing 100093, China
  • 6Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717-3120, USA
  • 7Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH 43606-3390, USA
  • 8Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Department, University of Wisconsin – Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA
  • 9Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Analysis, Lund University, Sölvegatan 12, 223 62, Sweden
  • 10Department of Biology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23284-2012, USA
  • 11Department of Biology, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610 Wilrijk, Belgium
  • 12School of Geography and Earth Sciences, and McMaster Centre for Climate Change, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON, L8S 4K1, Canada
  • 13Institute of Hydrology and Meteorology, Technische Universität Dresden, 01737 Tharandt, Germany
  • 14Biospheric Science, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
  • 15Climate Research Section, Environmental Science Division, Argonne Nat. Lab., Lemont, IL 60439, USA
  • 16Atmospheric Science Program, Geography Department, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405-7100, USA
  • 17INRA, UMR1137 Ecologie et Ecophysiologie Forestière, Centre de Nancy, 54280 Champenoux, France
  • 18Laboratory for Atmospheric Research, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-2910, USA
  • 19Department of Arctic Environment, National Environmental Research Institute, Aarhus University, Frederiksborgvej, 4000 Roskilde, Denmark
  • 20Institute for Agricultural and Forestry Systems in the Mediterranean, Via Cavour, Rende 4-6, 87036, Italy
  • 21ESS-CC, Alterra Wageningen UR, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands
  • 22Southwest Watershed Research Center, USDA-ARS, Tucson, AZ 85719, USA
  • 23Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Joint Research Centre – European Commission, 21027 Ispra, Italy
  • 24Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space and Earth Sciences, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824, USA

Abstract. Thermal adaptation of gross primary production and ecosystem respiration has been well documented over broad thermal gradients. However, no study has examined their interaction as a function of temperature, i.e. the thermal responses of net ecosystem exchange of carbon (NEE). In this study, we constructed temperature response curves of NEE against temperature using 380 site-years of eddy covariance data at 72 forest, grassland and shrubland ecosystems located at latitudes ranging from ~29° N to 64° N. The response curves were used to define two critical temperatures: transition temperature (Tb) at which ecosystem transfer from carbon source to sink and optimal temperature (To) at which carbon uptake is maximized. Tb was strongly correlated with annual mean air temperature. To was strongly correlated with mean temperature during the net carbon uptake period across the study ecosystems. Our results imply that the net ecosystem exchange of carbon adapts to the temperature across the geographical range due to intrinsic connections between vegetation primary production and ecosystem respiration.

Final-revised paper