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Separating direct and indirect effects of rising temperatures on biogenic volatile emissions in the Arctic

Citation

Iversen, Lars Lønsmann et al. (2020), Separating direct and indirect effects of rising temperatures on biogenic volatile emissions in the Arctic, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.kh189323t

Abstract

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are released from biogenic sources in a temperature-dependent manner. Consequently, Arctic ecosystems are expected to greatly increase their VOC emissions with ongoing climate warming, which is proceeding at twice the rate of global temperature rise. Here, we show that ongoing warming has strong, increasing effects on Arctic VOC emissions. Using a combination of statistical modelling on data from several warming experiments in the Arctic tundra and dynamic ecosystem modelling, we separate the impacts of temperature and soil moisture into direct effects and indirect effects through vegetation composition and biomass alterations. The indirect effects of warming on VOC emissions were significant, but smaller than the direct effects. Furthermore, vegetation changes also cause shifts in the chemical speciation of the emissions. Both direct and indirect effects result in large geographic differences in VOC emission responses in the warming Arctic, depending on the local vegetation cover and the climate dynamics. Our results outline complex links between local climate, vegetation, and ecosystem-atmosphere interactions, with likely local-to-regional impacts on the atmospheric composition.

Funding

European Research Council, Award: 771012