Title: Soil erosion is unlikely to drive a future carbon sink in Europe
Authors: LUGATO EMANUELESMITH PETEBORRELLI PASQUALEPANAGOS PANAGIOTISBALLABIO CRISTIANOORGIAZZI ALBERTOFERNANDEZ UGALDE OIHANEMONTANARELLA LUCAJONES ARWYN
Citation: SCIENCE ADVANCES vol. 4 no. 11 p. eaau3523
Publisher: AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE
Publication Year: 2018
JRC N°: JRC108691
ISSN: 2375-2548 (online)
URI: http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/4/11/eaau3523
http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC108691
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aau3523
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Understanding of the processes governing soil organic carbon turnover is confounded by the fact that C feedbacks driven by soil erosion have not yet been fully explored at large scale.However, in a changing climate, variation in rainfall erosivity (and hence soil erosion)maychange the amount of Cdisplacement, hence inducing feedbacks onto the land C cycle. Using a consistent biogeochemistry-erosionmodel framework to quantify the impact of future climate on the C cycle, we show that C input increases were offset by higher heterotrophic respiration under climate change. Taking into account all the additional feedbacks and C fluxes due to displacement by erosion, we estimated a net source of 0.92 to 10.1 Tg C year−1 from agricultural soils in the European Union to the atmosphere over the period 2016–2100. These ranges represented a weaker and stronger C source compared to a simulation without erosion (1.8 Tg C year−1), respectively, and were dependent on the erosion-driven C loss parameterization, which is still very uncertain. However, when setting a baseline with current erosion rates, the accelerated erosion scenario resulted in 35%more eroded C, but its feedback on the C cycle wasmarginal. Our results challenge the idea that higher erosion driven by climate will lead to a C sink in the near future.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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