Forest ecosystems store ~80% of the carbon in terrestrial ecosystems, but their long-term carbon sequestration depends partly on how plant biomass and soil carbon stocks will respond to global changes. Although the stimulation of plant growth by global change drivers has been widely observed, the response of soil carbon stock to global changes remains uncertain. Here we conducted a meta-analysis on experimental observations of plant and soil carbon-related data worldwide. We found that plant biomass and soil carbon stock increased more under elevated CO2 than under nitrogen deposition and warming. Under nitrogen deposition and warming, soil carbon stock depended on mycorrhizal associations, decreasing in forests dominated by arbuscular mycorrhizal tree species while increasing in forests dominated by ectomycorrhizal tree species. These results suggest a mycorrhizae-mediated trade-off between plant biomass and soil carbon sequestration in forest ecosystems under nitrogen deposition and warming conditions.
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This study was financially supported by CAS Project for Young Scientists in Basic Research grant YSBR-037 (K.Y.), the National Natural Science Foundation of China grants 32192435 (J.Z.) and 31922059 (K.Y.), the National Key Research and Development Program of China grants 2020YFA0608103 (J.Z.) and 2022YFF1300500 (K.Y.).
The authors declare no competing interests.
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Supplementary Figs. 1–5, Tables 1–3 and database references.
The systematic review reports are a checklist of details that include type of review, authors’ contacts, the contents of manuscript and other items.
The database of carbon-related variables under nitrogen deposition, elevated CO2 and warming effects.
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Yang, K., Zhang, Q., Zhu, J. et al. Mycorrhizal type regulates trade-offs between plant and soil carbon in forests. Nat. Clim. Chang. (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-023-01864-5