, Volume 118, Issue 2, pp 259-273
Date: 12 Oct 2012

Impacts of climate change on primary production and carbon sequestration of boreal Norway spruce forests: Finland as a model

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The aim of this study was to estimate the potential impacts of climate change on the spatial patterns of primary production and net carbon sequestration in relation to water availability in Norway spruce (Picea abies) dominated forests throughout Finland (N 60°–N 70°). The Finnish climatic scenarios (FINADAPT) based on the A2 emission scenario were used. According to the results, the changing climate increases the ratio of evapotranspiration to precipitation in southern Finland, while it slightly decreases the ratio in northern Finland, with regionally lower and higher soil water content in the south and north respectively. During the early simulation period of 2000–2030, the primary production and net carbon sequestration are higher under the changing climate in southern Finland, due to a moderate increase in temperature and atmospheric CO2. However, further elevated temperature and soil water stress reduces the primary production and net carbon sequestration from the middle period of 2030–2060 to the final period of 2060–2099, especially in the southernmost region. The opposite occurs in northern Finland, where the changing climate increases the primary production and net carbon sequestration over the 100-year simulation period due to higher water availability. The net carbon sequestration is probably further reduced by the stimulated ecosystem respiration (under climate warming) in southern Finland. The higher carbon loss of the ecosystem respiration probably also offset the increased primary production, resulting in the net carbon sequestration being less sensitive to the changing climate in northern Finland. Our findings suggest that future forest management should carefully consider the region-specific conditions of sites and adaptive practices to climate change for maintained or enhanced forest production and carbon sequestration.