Accelerating Forest Growth Enhancement due to Climate and Atmospheric Changes in British Colombia, Canada over 1956-2001 Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Changes in climate and atmospheric CO2 and nitrogen (N) over the last several decades have induced significant effects on forest carbon (C) cycling. However, contributions of individual factors are largely unknown because of the lack of long observational data and the undifferentiating between intrinsic factors and external forces in current ecosystem models. Using over four decades (1956-2001) of forest inventory data at 3432 permanent samples in maritime and boreal regions of British Columbia (B.C.), Canada, growth enhancements were reconstructed and partitioned into contributions of climate, CO2 and N after removal of age effects. We found that climate change contributed a particularly large amount (over 70%) of the accumulated growth enhancement, while the remaining was attributed to CO2 and N, respectively. We suggest that climate warming is contributing a widespread growth enhancement in B.C.'s forests, but ecosystem models should consider CO2 and N fertilization effects to fully explain inventory-based observations.

publication date

  • May 2015