Current Climate Change Reports

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 115–127 | Cite as

Interactions Between Land-Use Change and Climate-Carbon Cycle Feedbacks

  • Richard A. HoughtonEmail author
Carbon Cycle and Climate (K Zickfeld, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Carbon Cycle and Climate


Interactions between land-use change and climate-carbon cycle feedbacks include biological processes, such as CO2-enhanced productivity of lands managed for food, energy, or wood; an increased terrestrial carbon sink as a consequence of an expanded area of secondary forests; and the effects of land cover on biophysical properties affecting climate (e.g., albedo, roughness, evapotranspiration). Interactions also result at a conceptual level because of the methods used to evaluate terrestrial terms in the global carbon budget. For example, net carbon emissions from land-use change help define the airborne fraction, as well as the magnitude of the residual terrestrial carbon sink. And the lost additional sink capacity (LASC) determined with dynamic global vegetation models (DGVMs) reveals an indirect long-term consequence of land-use change: the loss of a carbon sink as a result of converting forests to open lands. Three different terrestrial carbon fluxes are important for understanding perturbations to the global carbon cycle: the net annual emissions from land-use change, the residual terrestrial carbon sink, and the LASC.


Bookkeeping model Carbon emissions Climate-carbon cycle feedbacks CO2 fertilization DGVM Environmental effects Forests Land use Land-use change Land management Lost sink capacity Residual terrestrial sink 


Compliance With Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Woods Hole Research CenterFalmouthUSA

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