Earlier snowmelt reduces atmospheric carbon uptake in midlatitude subalpine forests
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Dept Ecol & Evolutionary Biol
Univ Arizona, Tree Ring Res Lab
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherAMER GEOPHYSICAL UNION
CitationEarlier snowmelt reduces atmospheric carbon uptake in midlatitude subalpine forests 2016, 43 (15):8160 Geophysical Research Letters
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Rights©2016. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Collection InformationThis item from the UA Faculty Publications collection is made available by the University of Arizona with support from the University of Arizona Libraries. If you have questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AbstractPrevious work demonstrates conflicting evidence regarding the influence of snowmelt timing on forest net ecosystem exchange (NEE). Based on 15years of eddy covariance measurements in Colorado, years with earlier snowmelt exhibited less net carbon uptake during the snow ablation period, which is a period of high potential for productivity. Earlier snowmelt aligned with colder periods of the seasonal air temperature cycle relative to later snowmelt. We found that the colder ablation-period air temperatures during these early snowmelt years lead to reduced rates of daily NEE. Hence, earlier snowmelt associated with climate warming, counterintuitively, leads to colder atmospheric temperatures during the snow ablation period and concomitantly reduced rates of net carbon uptake. Using a multilinear-regression (R-2=0.79, P<0.001) relating snow ablation period mean air temperature and peak snow water equivalent (SWE) to ablation-period NEE, we predict that earlier snowmelt and decreased SWE may cause a 45% reduction in midcentury ablation-period net carbon uptake.
NoteIssue online: 24 August 2016; 6 month embargo.
VersionFinal published version
SponsorsU.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship (NSF) [DGE 1144083]; NSF-U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) joint program for Water Sustainability and Climate (USDA) [2012-67003-19802]; NSF Hydrological Sciences Program (NSF) [EAR1141764]; U.S. Department of Energy (DOE); USDA; NSF Niwot Ridge Long-Term Ecological Research program; DOE Office of Science through the AmeriFlux Management Project (AMP) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory