Changes in Distribution of Carbon Sources and Sinks Due to Spatial Patterns of Harvesting and Human Consumption


Harvesting and consumption of plant biomass have major effects on the distribution of CO2 fluxes. Carbon sinks can be created where food and fiber are grown and sources where they are consumed or decomposed. Here, we used the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) land model, LM3V, land- use reconstructions from the Global Land-use Model (GLM), and population estimates to predict the patterns of CO2 flux resulting from wood and crop growth and distributed consumption. LM3V vegetation dynamics were forced by the GLM scenarios of land-use transitions between natural and secondary vegetation, croplands and pasture. Harvest estimates were reconciled with data from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Harvested biomass was distributed and consumed based on population and socio-economic status indicators. Our analysis indicates that patterns of harvesting and subsequent spatial redistribution of plant biomass have significant implications for the distribution of CO2 sources and sinks.

Publication Date


Journal Title

EOS, Transactions American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting, Supplement


American Geophysical Union Publications

Document Type

Conference Proceeding