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Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  21 Oct 2020

21 Oct 2020

Review status
This preprint is currently under review for the journal BG.

Functional convergence of biosphere–atmosphere interactions in response to meteorology

Christopher Krich1,2, Mirco Migliavacca1, Diego G. Miralles2, Guido Kraemer1,3, Tarek S. El-Madany1, Markus Reichstein1, Jakob Runge4, and Miguel D. Mahecha3 Christopher Krich et al.
  • 1Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, 07745 Jena, Germany
  • 2Hydro-Climate Extremes Lab (H-CEL), Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
  • 3Remote Sensing Centre for Earth System Research, Leipzig University, 04103, Leipzig, Germany
  • 4German Aerospace Center, Institute of Data Science, 07745, Jena, Germany

Abstract. Understanding the dependencies of the terrestrial carbon and water cycle is a prerequisite to anticipate their behaviour under climate change conditions. However, terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere interact via a multitude of variables, time- and space scales. Additionally the interactions might differ among vegetation types or climatic regions. Today, novel algorithms aim to disentangle the causal structure behind such interaction from empirical data. Visualising the estimated structure in networks, the nodes represent relevant meteorological determinants and land-surface fluxes, and the links dependencies among them possibly including their lag and strength. Here we show that biosphere–atmosphere interactions are strongly shaped by meteorological conditions. For example, we find that temperate and high latitude ecosystems during peak productivity exhibit very similar biosphere–atmosphere interaction networks as tropical forests. In times of anomalous conditions like drought though, both ecosystems behave more like Mediterranean ecosystems during their dry season. Our results demonstrate that ecosystems from different climate or vegetation types have similar biosphere–atmosphere interactions if their meteorological conditions are similar. We anticipate our analysis to foster the use of network approaches as they allow a more comprehensive understanding of the state of ecosystem functioning. Long term or even irreversible changes in network structure are rare and thus can be indicators of fundamental functional ecosystem shifts.

Christopher Krich et al.

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Christopher Krich et al.

Christopher Krich et al.


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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
Ecosystems and the atmosphere interact with each other. These interactions determine e.g. the water and carbon fluxes and thus are crucial to understand climate change effects. We analysed the interactions for many ecosystems across the globe showing that very different ecosystems can have similar interactions with the atmosphere. Meteorological conditions seem to be the strongest interaction-shaping factor. This means that common principles can be identified to describe ecosystem behaviour.
Ecosystems and the atmosphere interact with each other. These interactions determine e.g. the...