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Carbon Storage in the Southwest

SEV scientists determined that regional carbon storage is likely to decrease in all biomes under predicted climate change scenarios because the fraction of plant carbon uptake released as respiration increases with rising temperature and drying soil. This has important implications for modeling feedbacks between ecosystem carbon storage and atmospheric CO2 concentrations.

Anderson-Teixeira, Kristina J, JP DeLong, AM Fox, DA Brese, ME Litvak. 2010. "Differential responses of production and respiration to temperature and moisture drive the carbon balance across a climatic gradient in New Mexico." Global Change Biology 17(1): 410-424.
Dr. Marcy Litvak
Skyler Hackley, research technician in the Litvak lab at UNM, inspects the grassland eddy covariance tower on the Sevilleta LTER
Change in carbon exchange as a function of increasing mean annual temperature (MAT) for desert grassland (DG), desert shrubland (DS), juniper savanna (JS), pinon-juniper woodland (PJ), ponderosa pine forest (PP) and mixed conifer forest (SC).
The map shows the distribution of these ecosystems across New Mexico.

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