Simulating the carbon balance of a temperate larch forest under various meteorological conditions

Motomu Toda*, Masayuki Yokozawa, Akihiro Sumida, Tsutomu Watanabe, Toshihiko Hara

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Changes in the timing of phenological events may cause the annual carbon budget of deciduous forests to change. Therefore, one should take such events into account when evaluating the effects of global warming on deciduous forests. In this article, we report on the results of numerical experiments done with a model that includes a phenological module simulating the timing of bud burst and other phenological events and estimating maximum leaf area index. Results: This study suggests that the negative effects of warming on tree productivity (net primary production) outweigh the positive effects of a prolonged growing season. An increase in air temperature by 3°C (5°C) reduces cumulative net primary production by 21.3% (34.2%). Similarly, cumulative net ecosystem production (the difference between cumulative net primary production and heterotrophic respiration) decreases by 43.5% (64.5%) when temperatures are increased by 3°C (5°C). However, the positive effects of CO2 enrichment (2 × CO2) outweigh the negative effects of warming (<5°C). Conclusion: Although the model was calibrated and validated for a specific forest ecosystem, the implications of the study may be extrapolated to deciduous forests in cool-temperate zones. These forests share common features, and it can be conjectured that carbon stocks would increase in such forests in the face of doubled CO2 and increased temperatures as long as the increase in temperature does not exceed 5°C.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6
JournalCarbon Balance and Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007 May 30
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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