Letter to the Editor: Ecologically implausible carbon response?

W. de Vries, S. Solberg, M. Dobbertin, H. Sterba, D. Laubhahn, G.J. Reinds, G.J. Nabuurs, P. Gundersen, M.A. Sutton

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterAcademicpeer-review

127 Citations (Scopus)


Magnani et al. 1 present a very strong correlation between mean lifetime net ecosystem production (NEP, defined as the net rate of carbon (C) accumulation in ecosystems2) and wet nitrogen (N) deposition. For their data in the range 4.9¿9.8 kg N ha-1 yr-1, on which the correlation largely depends, the response is approximately 725 kg C per kg N in wet deposition. According to the authors, the maximum N wet deposition level of 9.8 kg N ha-1 yr-1 is equivalent to a total deposition of 15 kg N ha-1 yr-1, implying a net sequestration near 470 kg C per kg N of total deposition. We question the ecological plausibility of the relationship and show, from a multi-factor analysis of European forest measurements, how interactions with site productivity and environment imply a much smaller NEP response to N deposition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E1-E3
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • climatic change
  • greenhouse gases
  • carbon dioxide
  • forest ecology
  • nitrogen deposition
  • temperate forests
  • sequestration
  • ecosystems
  • fluxes
  • soils
  • sites


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