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Le Noe, J; Erb, KH; Matej, S; Magerl, A; Bhan, M; Gingrich, S.
(2021): Socio-ecological drivers of long-term ecosystem carbon stock trend: An assessment with the LUCCA model of the French case
ANTHROPOCENE. 2021; 33, 100275 FullText FullText_BOKU

Land ecosystems can play a crucial role in climate-change mitigation by acting as sinks for carbon. Legacy effects of past land use, including land conversion and changes in land-use intensity, influence the capacity for future ecosystem carbon sequestration. These effects are hard to quantify, however, and the influence of changes in land-use intensity are still largely overlooked. This study assessed the long term dynamics (1850-2015) of the terrestrial carbon budget in France. We developed a new dynamic model: LUCCA (Land Use Change & Conversion Accounting) that robustly quantifies the dynamics of carbon stocks and fluxes. It allows disentanglement of land conversion from land management effects following a socio-ecological perspective. Carbon stocks in terrestrial ecosystems in France increased from 3.5 GtC in 1850 to 4.8 GtC in 2015 as a result of contrasting regional land-use trajectories. Based on five counterfactual scenarios, we unravel that changes in land-use intensity explained 46 % of the observed carbon stock changes since 1850, while land conversion was responsible for 30 %, and the rest can be attributed to changes in forest growth rates induced by both environmental and management changes. The effects of land conversion and changes in land-use intensity on carbon stock accumulation, however, would have been hardly possible in the absence of agricultural intensification and release of harvest pressure following wood-fuel substitution by fossil fuel. In fact, carbon emissions induced by fossil fuel consumption in France from 1850 to 2015 were 9 times the carbon sink in terrestrial ecosystems. These figures highlight the importance of considering long-term trajectories of ecosystem carbon fluxes and their relationship with emissions from other processes for climate action strategies. (C) 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Authors BOKU Wien:
Bhan Manan
Erb Karlheinz
Gingrich Simone
Le Noe Julia
Magerl Andreas
Matej Sarah

Find related publications in this database (Keywords)
Carbon cycle
Socio-ecological metabolism
Long-term trajectories

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