Elevated atmospheric CO 2 and climate changes are expected to influence managed grassland ecosystems. The mechanistic pasture simulation model (PaSim) was used to quantify effects on net primary productivity (NPP) and carbon (C) stocks at three locations differing in climate and soil type. An earlier model version was modified to enable long-term simulations at different altitudes, and to consider management in the form of either cutting or grazing by lactating cows. Results from simulations under current conditions agreed favourably with measured data for yield and C stocks, and model behaviour appeared to be plausible. Elevated CO 2 alone or in combination with increased temperature stimulated NPP at all sites. The stimulation was positively related to increasing precipitation at dry sites, but negatively at cool sites. Climate change scenarios in combination with elevated CO 2 led to increase C stocks. The sensitivity of C stocks to changes in temperature and precipitation was similar, and much larger than to management. Grazing led to higher C stocks compared with cutting, depending mainly on the difference in NPP between the management options. Grazing had a positive effect on C stocks under cool conditions, but the effect tended to become negative with increasing temperature. Comparing different sites revealed that local conditions affect system behaviour qualitatively. In quantitative terms, the results confirm that the combination of elevated CO 2 and climate change affects NPP and C stocks, and that the influence of management is site-specific.
Ecological Modelling – Elsevier
Published: Oct 30, 2000
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