Atmospheric properties

Atmospheric COi is an importance trace gas and a major component of the carbon cycle. We have described how biological diversity from species to landscapes affect production and decomposition, which are the major processes driving the carbon cycle. We are not aware of studies relating species diversity to atmospheric properties. However, Burke el al. (1991) calculated the effects on the carbon balance of converting a large fraction of the North America Central Grassland Region into cropland. They also estimated, by means of a simulation model, the effects of changes in climate as predicted by global circulation models upon the carbon balance of grassland ecosystems. They compared the observed losses in carbon as a result of cultivation against those which may result from climate change. Cultivation resulted in a net release of carbon from soil organic matter which was larger than the expected loss as a result of climate change.

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