Warming and drought weaken the carbon sink capacity of an endangered paleoendemic temperate rainforest in South America

Perez-Quezada, J.F., Barichivich, J., Urrutia-Jalabert, R., Carrasco, E., Aguilera, D., Bacour, C., Lara, A.

Keywords: Carbon flux, alerce


Measurements of ecosystem carbon (C) fluxes in temperate forests are concentrated in the Northern Hemisphere, leaving the functionally diverse temperate forests in the Southern Hemisphere underrepresented. Here, we report 3 years (February 2018 to January 2021) of C fluxes, studied with eddy-covariance and closed chamber techniques, in an endangered temperate evergreen rainforest of the long-lived paleoendemic South American conifer Fitzroya cupressoides. Using classification and regression trees, we analyzed the most relevant drivers and thresholds of daily net ecosystem exchange (NEE) and soil respiration. The annual NEE showed that the forest was a moderate C sink during the period analyzed (−287 ± 38 g C m−2 year −1). We found that the capacity to capture C of the Fitzroya rainforests in the Coastal Range of southern Chile is optimal under cool and rainy conditions in the early austral spring (October– November) and decreases rapidly toward the summer dry season (January–February) and autumn. Although the studied forest type has a narrow geographical coverage, the gross primary productivity measured at the tower was highly representative of Fitzroya and other rainforests in the region. Our results suggest that C fluxes in paleoendemic cool F. cupressoides forests may be negatively affected by the warming and drying predicted by climate change models, reinforcing the importance of maintaining this and other long-term ecological research sites in the Southern Hemisphere.

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Volumen: 128
Editorial: American Geophysical Union
Fecha de publicación: 2023
Página de inicio: 1
Página final: 18
URL: https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2022JG007258
Notas: ISI