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Cross-ecosystem carbon flows connecting ecosystems worldwide


Gounand, Isabelle; Little, Chelsea J; Harvey, Eric; Altermatt, Florian (2018). Cross-ecosystem carbon flows connecting ecosystems worldwide. Nature Communications, 9:4825.

Abstract

Ecosystems are widely interconnected by spatial flows of material, but the overall importance of these flows relative to local ecosystem functioning remains unclear. Here we provide a quan- titative synthesis on spatial flows of carbon connecting ecosystems worldwide. Cross- ecosystem flows range over eight orders of magnitude, bringing between 10−3 and 105 gC m−2 year−1 to recipient ecosystems. Magnitudes are similar to local fluxes in freshwater and benthic ecosystems, but two to three orders of magnitude lower in terrestrial systems, demonstrating different dependencies on spatial flows among ecosystem types. The strong spatial couplings also indicate that ecosystems are vulnerable to alterations of cross-ecosystem flows. Thus, a reconsideration of ecosystem functioning, including a spatial perspective, is urgently needed.

Abstract

Ecosystems are widely interconnected by spatial flows of material, but the overall importance of these flows relative to local ecosystem functioning remains unclear. Here we provide a quan- titative synthesis on spatial flows of carbon connecting ecosystems worldwide. Cross- ecosystem flows range over eight orders of magnitude, bringing between 10−3 and 105 gC m−2 year−1 to recipient ecosystems. Magnitudes are similar to local fluxes in freshwater and benthic ecosystems, but two to three orders of magnitude lower in terrestrial systems, demonstrating different dependencies on spatial flows among ecosystem types. The strong spatial couplings also indicate that ecosystems are vulnerable to alterations of cross-ecosystem flows. Thus, a reconsideration of ecosystem functioning, including a spatial perspective, is urgently needed.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:16 November 2018
Deposited On:29 Nov 2018 12:50
Last Modified:30 Nov 2018 08:36
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:2041-1723
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-07238-2
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant IDPP00P3_150698
  • : Project TitleBridging biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in dendritic networks: a meta-ecosystem perspective
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant IDPP00P3_179089
  • : Project TitleBridging biodiversity and ecosystem functioning: a meta-ecosystem perspective
  • : FunderUniversity of Zurich Research Priority Program
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project TitleURPP Global Change and Biodiversity (URPP-GCB)

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