Ecosystem Services Related to Carbon Cycling – Modeling Present and Future Impacts in Boreal Forests

Frontiers in Plant Science. 2019;10 DOI 10.3389/fpls.2019.00343


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Journal Title: Frontiers in Plant Science

ISSN: 1664-462X (Online)

Publisher: Frontiers Media S.A.

LCC Subject Category: Agriculture: Plant culture

Country of publisher: Switzerland

Language of fulltext: English

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Maria Holmberg (Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), Helsinki, Finland)

Tuula Aalto (Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), Helsinki, Finland)

Anu Akujärvi (Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), Helsinki, Finland)

Ali Nadir Arslan (Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), Helsinki, Finland)

Irina Bergström (Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), Helsinki, Finland)

Kristin Böttcher (Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), Helsinki, Finland)

Ismo Lahtinen (Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), Helsinki, Finland)

Annikki Mäkelä (Department of Forest Sciences, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland)

Tiina Markkanen (Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), Helsinki, Finland)

Francesco Minunno (Department of Forest Sciences, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland)

Mikko Peltoniemi (National Resources Institute (LUKE), Helsinki, Finland)

Katri Rankinen (Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), Helsinki, Finland)

Petteri Vihervaara (Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), Helsinki, Finland)

Martin Forsius (Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), Helsinki, Finland)


Blind peer review

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Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 14 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

Forests regulate climate, as carbon, water and nutrient fluxes are modified by physiological processes of vegetation and soil. Forests also provide renewable raw material, food, and recreational possibilities. Rapid climate warming projected for the boreal zone may change the provision of these ecosystem services. We demonstrate model based estimates of present and future ecosystem services related to carbon cycling of boreal forests. The services were derived from biophysical variables calculated by two dynamic models. Future changes in the biophysical variables were driven by climate change scenarios obtained as results of a sample of global climate models downscaled for Finland, assuming three future pathways of radiative forcing. We introduce continuous monitoring on phenology to be used in model parametrization through a webcam network with automated image processing features. In our analysis, climate change impacts on key boreal forest ecosystem services are both beneficial and detrimental. Our results indicate an increase in annual forest growth of about 60% and an increase in annual carbon sink of roughly 40% from the reference period (1981–2010) to the end of the century. The vegetation active period was projected to start about 3 weeks earlier and end ten days later by the end of the century compared to currently. We found a risk for increasing drought, and a decrease in the number of soil frost days. Our results show a considerable uncertainty in future provision of boreal forest ecosystem services.