Ecosystem experiments as a window to future carbon, water, and nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems
Ecosystem experiments as a window to future carbon, water, and nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems
Editor(s): Karin Rebel, Teresa Gimeno, Sönke Zaehle, Silvia Caldararu, Richard Nair, Victor Rolo, Benjamin Stocker, Michael Bahn, and Anja Rammig
This special issue brings together a collection of articles on ecosystem manipulation experiments, which have the potential to inform mechanistic ecosystem models on the effects of global changes. Terrestrial ecosystem dynamics and the interplay of multiple biogeochemical cycles are responsible for unresolved uncertainties in Earth system change projections. The advancement of ecosystem experiments and mechanistic modelling has great potential for addressing this research challenge. However, finding answers requires diverse theoretical and empirical research to be integrated. Ecosystem manipulation experiments allow for empirical testing of theoretical hypotheses, model predictions, and their assumptions. However, results from manipulation experiments can only contribute to advance our ability to improve ecosystem–climate feedback if these are informed by and integrated into mechanistic models.

The scope of this special issue is centred around terrestrial ecosystem experiments. Papers contain an explicit theoretical component for evaluating results or generating hypotheses, address identified open challenges in modelling ecosystem responses to various experimental treatments, or are centred around a model–data synthesis, using results from ecosystem manipulation experiments. Manipulation experiments is to be understood in a broad sense, including (but not restricted to) nutrient, CO2, and/or water manipulation; isotope labelling studies; and natural perturbations, ranging from ecosystem to planetary scale.

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04 Jun 2024
Long-term fertilization increases soil but not plant or microbial N in a Chihuahuan Desert grassland
Violeta Mendoza-Martinez, Scott L. Collins, and Jennie R. McLaren
Biogeosciences, 21, 2655–2667,,, 2024
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29 Feb 2024
Using Free Air CO2 Enrichment data to constrain land surface model projections of the terrestrial carbon cycle
Nina Raoult, Louis-Axel Edouard-Rambaut, Nicolas Vuichard, Vladislav Bastrikov, Anne Sofie Lansø, Bertrand Guenet, and Philippe Peylin
Biogeosciences, 21, 1017–1036,,, 2024
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24 Jan 2024
Tropical dry forest response to nutrient fertilization: a model validation and sensitivity analysis
Shuyue Li, Bonnie Waring, Jennifer Powers, and David Medvigy
Biogeosciences, 21, 455–471,,, 2024
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12 Jan 2024
Can models adequately reflect how long-term nitrogen enrichment alters the forest soil carbon cycle?
Brooke A. Eastman, William R. Wieder, Melannie D. Hartman, Edward R. Brzostek, and William T. Peterjohn
Biogeosciences, 21, 201–221,,, 2024
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08 Jan 2024
Root distributions predict shrub–steppe responses to precipitation intensity
Andrew Kulmatiski, Martin C. Holdrege, Cristina Chirvasă, and Karen H. Beard
Biogeosciences, 21, 131–143,,, 2024
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20 Dec 2023
Thermophilisation of Afromontane forest stands demonstrated in an elevation gradient experiment
Bonaventure Ntirugulirwa, Etienne Zibera, Nkuba Epaphrodite, Aloysie Manishimwe, Donat Nsabimana, Johan Uddling, and Göran Wallin
Biogeosciences, 20, 5125–5149,,, 2023
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23 Nov 2023
Long-term additions of ammonium nitrate to montane forest ecosystems may cause limited soil acidification, even in the presence of soil carbonate
Thomas Baer, Gerhard Furrer, Stephan Zimmermann, and Patrick Schleppi
Biogeosciences, 20, 4577–4589,,, 2023
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06 Sep 2023
Ideas and perspectives: Beyond model evaluation – combining experiments and models to advance terrestrial ecosystem science
Silvia Caldararu, Victor Rolo, Benjamin D. Stocker, Teresa E. Gimeno, and Richard Nair
Biogeosciences, 20, 3637–3649,,, 2023
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31 Jul 2023
Potassium limitation of forest productivity – Part 1: A mechanistic model simulating the effects of potassium availability on canopy carbon and water fluxes in tropical eucalypt stands
Ivan Cornut, Nicolas Delpierre, Jean-Paul Laclau, Joannès Guillemot, Yann Nouvellon, Otavio Campoe, Jose Luiz Stape, Vitoria Fernanda Santos, and Guerric le Maire
Biogeosciences, 20, 3093–3117,,, 2023
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31 Jul 2023
Potassium limitation of forest productivity – Part 2: CASTANEA-MAESPA-K shows a reduction in photosynthesis rather than a stoichiometric limitation of tissue formation
Ivan Cornut, Guerric le Maire, Jean-Paul Laclau, Joannès Guillemot, Yann Nouvellon, and Nicolas Delpierre
Biogeosciences, 20, 3119–3135,,, 2023
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12 Jul 2023
Assessing carbon storage capacity and saturation across six central US grasslands using data–model integration
Kevin R. Wilcox, Scott L. Collins, Alan K. Knapp, William Pockman, Zheng Shi, Melinda D. Smith, and Yiqi Luo
Biogeosciences, 20, 2707–2725,,, 2023
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15 Jun 2023
Throughfall exclusion and fertilization effects on tropical dry forest tree plantations, a large-scale experiment
German Vargas Gutiérrez, Daniel Pérez-Aviles, Nanette Raczka, Damaris Pereira-Arias, Julián Tijerín-Triviño, L. David Pereira-Arias, David Medvigy, Bonnie G. Waring, Ember Morrisey, Edward Brzostek, and Jennifer S. Powers
Biogeosciences, 20, 2143–2160,,, 2023
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14 Jun 2023
Exploring the impacts of unprecedented climate extremes on forest ecosystems: hypotheses to guide modeling and experimental studies
Jennifer A. Holm, David M. Medvigy, Benjamin Smith, Jeffrey S. Dukes, Claus Beier, Mikhail Mishurov, Xiangtao Xu, Jeremy W. Lichstein, Craig D. Allen, Klaus S. Larsen, Yiqi Luo, Cari Ficken, William T. Pockman, William R. L. Anderegg, and Anja Rammig
Biogeosciences, 20, 2117–2142,,, 2023
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