Geophysikalisches Kolloquium: Is the biosphere carbon saturated?

Rising levels of CO2, the basic material resource of the biosphere, have been considered a potential asset for plant productivity and carbon sequestration. I will explore this question from a biological point of view, starting from physiological principles and scaling to landscape applications. Using experimental data (partly from the Swiss canopy crane site), I will highlight the significance of conditions other than CO2-supply, stoichiometric rules and aspects of biodiversity. The audience will understand why fluxes of carbon should never be confused with pools (stocks) of bio-carbon, and why only the latter are relevant to the carbon sequestration debate. I will close with a few facts on the (overestimated) potential of biological substitutes to fossil carbon in attempts at mitigating atmospheric CO2 enrichment. References: Körner et al. (2005) Carbon flux and growth in mature deciduous forest trees exposed to elevated CO2. Science 309:1360-1362; Körner (2006) Plant CO2 responses: an issue of definition, time and resource supply. New Phytol 172:393-411




15:15 h


Geomatikum H4
Lecture hall H4 (ground floor), University of Hamburg, Bundesstr. 55, Hamburg


Christian Körner, Universität Basel


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