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Over many years, a more relevant measure of carbon balance is net biome productivity (NBP), which includes carbon losses due to fire, insect and pathogen damage, and other disturbances (Schulze et al. 2000).

Solar energy, temperature, and soil moisture are the main climate variables that modulate GPP on hourly, daily, and seasonal timescales (Leith 1975). Soil respiration is primarily a function of soil temperature, soil moisture, and whether or not the soil is waterlogged. On an annual timescale, soil respiration can be expressed as a function of the ratio between soil carbon content (C) and its turnover time (t). In principle, carbon stores in the soil increase with decreasing temperature (T) (Figure 15.1). This occurs, in part, because the soil turnover time decreases with increasing temperature. Whether or not soil respiration increases or decreases with changes in temperature, however, depends upon whether the temperature sensitivity of the numerator (C) outpaces that of the denominator (t) (Sanderman et al. 2003).

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