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Report No.

Wintertime grassland dynamics may influence belowground biomass under climate change; A Model analysis

Katata, Genki*; Grote, R.*; Mauder, M.*; Zeeman, M. J.*; Ota, Masakazu  

Mountain grassland productivity is limited by cold and long winters; thus, rising temperatures and changes in snow cover expected in the future may have large impacts on the grassland yields. To investigate this, we enhanced land surface model (SOLVEG) to account for snow, freeze-thaw events, and grass growth, and the model was applied to the managed grasslands affected by extremely warm winter. The model reproduced temporal variability of observed heat fluxes, soil temperatures and snow depth throughout the 3-year simulation period. High physiological activity during the extremely warm winter led to a CO$$_{2}$$ uptake of 100 g-C m$$^{-2}$$, which was, surprisingly, mainly allocated into the below-ground biomass and rarely used for plant growth during spring. This process, which is so far largely unaccounted for in global terrestrial biosphere models, may lead to carbon accumulation in the soil and/or heterotrophic respiration as a response to global warming.



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