Estimates of increased plant respiration in response to higher global temperatures may be somewhat overstated as they have not taken into account plants ability to adjust to changing conditions, according to researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
In a Perspectives paper published April 28 by Science, a team led by Tony King cites ORNL findings suggesting that about 9 percent more carbon will be stored in plants and soil with the acclimation of plants included in the model. While this amount is relatively small compared to different climate-carbon simulations performed over the years, the authors note that this acclimation phenomenon should not be ignored.
"This is carbon that might otherwise be released to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide and could further influence future climate change," said King, a researcher in ORNLs Environmental Sciences Division. "Our ability to accurately predict global change over the next several decades depends upon having a thorough understanding of multiple interacting factors, including plant respiration.
Ron Walli | EurekAlert!
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