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Mycorrhizal Distributions Impact Global Patterns of Carbon and Nutrient Cycling

Braghiere, R. K. and Fisher, J. B. and Fisher, R. A. and Shi, M. and Steidinger, B. S. and Sulman, B. N. and Soudzilovskaia, N. A. and Yang, X. and Liang, J. and Peay, K. G. and Crowther, T. W. and Phillips, R. P. (2021) Mycorrhizal Distributions Impact Global Patterns of Carbon and Nutrient Cycling. Geophysical Research Letters, 48 (19). Art. No. e2021GL094514. ISSN 0094-8276. doi:10.1029/2021gl094514.

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Most tree species predominantly associate with a single type of mycorrhizal fungi, which can differentially affect plant nutrient acquisition and biogeochemical cycling. Uncertainties in mycorrhizal distributions are non-trivial, and current estimates disagree in up to 50% over 40% of the land area, including tropical forests. Remote sensing capabilities for mycorrhizal detection show promise for refining these estimates further. Here, we address for the first time the impact of mycorrhizal distributions on global carbon and nutrient cycling. Using the state-of-the-art carbon-nitrogen economics within the Community Land Model version 5, we found Net Primary Productivity (NPP) increased throughout the 21st century by 20%; however, as soil nitrogen has progressively become limiting, the costs to NPP for nitrogen acquisition—that is, to mycorrhizae—have increased at a faster rate by 60%. This suggests that nutrient acquisition will increasingly demand a higher portion of assimilated carbon to support the same productivity.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Braghiere, R. K.0000-0002-7722-717X
Fisher, J. B.0000-0003-4734-9085
Fisher, R. A.0000-0003-3260-9227
Shi, M.0000-0002-2469-4831
Steidinger, B. S.0000-0003-1001-7642
Sulman, B. N.0000-0002-3265-6691
Soudzilovskaia, N. A.0000-0003-4659-2585
Yang, X.0000-0002-2686-745X
Liang, J.0000-0001-9439-9320
Peay, K. G.0000-0002-7998-7412
Crowther, T. W.0000-0001-5674-8913
Phillips, R. P.0000-0002-1345-4138
Additional Information:© 2021. The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Issue Online: 27 September 2021; Version of Record online: 27 September 2021; Accepted manuscript online: 16 September 2021; Manuscript accepted: 12 September 2021; Manuscript revised: 16 August 2021; Manuscript received: 24 May 2021. This research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. California Institute of Technology. Government sponsorship acknowledged. This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Biological and Environmental Research, Terrestrial Ecosystem Science program under Award Numbers DE-SC0008317 and DE-SC0016188. Funding was also provided by the NASA IDS program. Copyright 2021. All rights reserved. MS was partly supported by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science Biological and Environmental Research as part of the Terrestrial Ecosystem Science Program through the Next-Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE) Tropics project. PNNL is operated by Battelle Memorial Institute for the U.S. DOE under contract DE-AC05-76RLO1830. We would like to acknowledge high-performance computing support from Cheyenne (NCAR, 2020) provided by NCAR's Computational and Information Systems Laboratory, sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Data Availability Statement: A patch file with the modified version of CLM5 and all python scripts used for analyses and plots are available in
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-SC0008317
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-SC0016188
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-AC05-76RLO1830
Subject Keywords:biogeochemistry; carbon cycling; climate change; Earth system modeling; mycorrhizae; nitrogen cycling
Issue or Number:19
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20211008-141254052
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Braghiere, R. K., Fisher, J. B., Fisher, R. A., Shi, M., Steidinger, B. S., Sulman, B. N., et al. (2021). Mycorrhizal distributions impact global patterns of carbon and nutrient cycling. Geophysical Research Letters, 48, e2021GL094514.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:111275
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:08 Oct 2021 15:42
Last Modified:08 Oct 2021 15:42

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