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Fire decline in dry tropical ecosystems enhances decadal land carbon sink

Yin, Yi and Bloom, A. Anthony and Worden, John and Saatchi, Sassan and Yang, Yan and Williams, Mathew and Liu, Junjie and Jiang, Zhe and Worden, Helen and Bowman, Kevin and Frankenberg, Christian and Schimel, David (2020) Fire decline in dry tropical ecosystems enhances decadal land carbon sink. Nature Communications, 11 . Art. No. 1900. ISSN 2041-1723. PMCID PMC7170937. doi:10.1038/s41467-020-15852-2.

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The terrestrial carbon sink has significantly increased in the past decades, but the underlying mechanisms are still unclear. The current synthesis of process-based estimates of land and ocean sinks requires an additional sink of 0.6 PgC yr⁻¹ in the last decade to explain the observed airborne fraction. A concurrent global fire decline was observed in association with tropical agriculture expansion and landscape fragmentation. Here we show that a decline of 0.2 ± 0.1 PgC yr⁻¹ in fire emissions during 2008–2014 relative to 2001–2007 also induced an additional carbon sink enhancement of 0.4 ± 0.2 PgC yr⁻¹ attributable to carbon cycle feedbacks, amounting to a combined sink increase comparable to the 0.6 PgC yr⁻¹ budget imbalance. Our results suggest that the indirect effects of fire, in addition to the direct emissions, is an overlooked mechanism for explaining decadal-scale changes in the land carbon sink and highlight the importance of fire management in climate mitigation.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Yin, Yi0000-0003-4750-4997
Bloom, A. Anthony0000-0002-1486-1499
Worden, John0000-0003-0257-9549
Williams, Mathew0000-0001-6117-5208
Liu, Junjie0000-0002-7184-6594
Jiang, Zhe0000-0002-0086-7486
Bowman, Kevin0000-0002-8659-1117
Frankenberg, Christian0000-0002-0546-5857
Schimel, David0000-0003-3473-8065
Additional Information:© 2020 The Author(s). This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit Received 06 March 2020; Accepted 01 April 2020; Published 20 April 2020. Funding for this study was provided through a NASA ROSES Carbon Cycle and Ecosystems grant (#13-CARBON13_2-0071) and NASA Earth Science grant (NNH16ZDA001N-IDS). Part of this research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Data availability: All data and CARDAMOM code are available upon request from the corresponding authors. Author Contributions: J.W., A.A.B., Y.Yin, and D.S. designed the study; Y.Yin and A.A.B. performed the analysis; S.S. and Y.Yang provided information about tropical ecosystem responses to fire disturbance; H.W. and Z.J. provided information on fire CO emissions; M.W., J.L., K.B., and C.F. contributed to the interpretation of the results. Y.Yin wrote the paper with inputs from all authors. The authors declare no competing interests.
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PubMed Central ID:PMC7170937
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200420-090747396
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Official Citation:Yin, Y., Bloom, A.A., Worden, J. et al. Fire decline in dry tropical ecosystems enhances decadal land carbon sink. Nat Commun 11, 1900 (2020).
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:102645
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:20 Apr 2020 17:17
Last Modified:15 Feb 2022 23:10

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