Climate-regulation services of natural and agricultural ecoregions of the Americas

Kristina J. Anderson-Teixeira, Peter K. Snyder, Tracy E. Twine, Santiago V. Cuadra, Marcos H. Costa, Evan H Delucia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Terrestrial ecosystems regulate climate through both biogeochemical (greenhouse-gas regulation) and biophysical (regulation of water and energy) mechanisms. However, policies aimed at climate protection through land management, including REDD+ (where REDD is Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) and bioenergy sustainability standards, account only for biogeochemical mechanisms. By ignoring biophysical processes, which sometimes offset biogeochemical effects, policies risk promoting suboptimal solutions. Here, we quantify how biogeochemical and biophysical processes combine to shape the climate regulation values of 18 natural and agricultural ecoregions across the Americas. Natural ecosystems generally had higher climate regulation values than agroecosystems, largely driven by differences in biogeochemical services. Biophysical contributions ranged from minimal to dominant. They were highly variable in space, and their relative importance varied with the spatio-temporal scale of analysis. Our findings reinforce the importance of protecting tropical forests, show that northern forests have a relatively small net effect on climate, and indicate that climatic effects of bioenergy production may be more positive when biophysical processes are considered. Ensuring effective climate protection through land management requires consideration of combined biogeochemical and biophysical processes. Our climate regulation value index serves as one potential approach to quantify the full climate services of terrestrial ecosystems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-181
Number of pages5
JournalNature Climate Change
Volume2
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2012

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ecoregion
climate
regulation
climate protection
bioenergy
terrestrial ecosystem
land management
Values
agricultural ecosystem
management
tropical forest
deforestation
services
Americas
greenhouse gas
sustainability
energy
water
degradation
ecosystem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Anderson-Teixeira, K. J., Snyder, P. K., Twine, T. E., Cuadra, S. V., Costa, M. H., & Delucia, E. H. (2012). Climate-regulation services of natural and agricultural ecoregions of the Americas. Nature Climate Change, 2(3), 177-181. https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate1346

Climate-regulation services of natural and agricultural ecoregions of the Americas. / Anderson-Teixeira, Kristina J.; Snyder, Peter K.; Twine, Tracy E.; Cuadra, Santiago V.; Costa, Marcos H.; Delucia, Evan H.

In: Nature Climate Change, Vol. 2, No. 3, 01.03.2012, p. 177-181.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Anderson-Teixeira, KJ, Snyder, PK, Twine, TE, Cuadra, SV, Costa, MH & Delucia, EH 2012, 'Climate-regulation services of natural and agricultural ecoregions of the Americas', Nature Climate Change, vol. 2, no. 3, pp. 177-181. https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate1346
Anderson-Teixeira, Kristina J. ; Snyder, Peter K. ; Twine, Tracy E. ; Cuadra, Santiago V. ; Costa, Marcos H. ; Delucia, Evan H. / Climate-regulation services of natural and agricultural ecoregions of the Americas. In: Nature Climate Change. 2012 ; Vol. 2, No. 3. pp. 177-181.
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