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Diagnosing Phosphorus Limitation in Subtropical Forests in China under Climate Warming

Wang, Na, Huang, Mei, Gu, Fengxue, Yan, Huimin, Wang, Shaoqiang, He, Honglin, Wang, Zhaosheng, Sun, Xiangyang, Xu, Wenting, Yang, Fengting, Chu, Guowei
Sustainability 2019 v.11 no.8
coniferous forests, deciduous forests, global warming, models, net primary productivity, phosphorus, plantations, risk, soil, tropical forests, uncertainty, China
Phosphorus (P) is a fundamental component of plant organisms. Most of the Earth System Models (ESMs) project increases in future Net Primary Productivity (NPP) due to climate warming. However, large uncertainty exists in projected NPP due to future P limitation. Subtropical China is a region with high vegetation NPP, but its forests are mostly P limited. In this study, we used the simulations of Atmospheric-Vegetation Interaction Model 2 (AVIM2) to diagnose the P limitation in forests in this region, and found that climate warming in the period of 1951–2010 had enhanced P limitation. The P demand during 1981–2010 for Evergreen Broad-leaved Forest (EBF) and Evergreen Needle-leaved Forest (ENF) are 1.67 and 1.8 times than that during 1951–1980, respectively. The observed current Available Soil P (ASP) density in 4 representative forest sites in subtropical China varied between 940 mg · m − 2 and 2365 mg · m − 2 , and the P demands account for 0.86% to 25.5% of the ASP for the period of 1951–2010. Future P demands are estimated to account for 3.2% to 68.3% of the current ASP at the end of this century for RCP8.5. Therefore, forests, especially plantations, in subtropical China are facing high risks of P limitation.