Carbon cycling in sagebrush steppe under climate change

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The primary goal of this project was to assess the effect of climate change on carbon cycling in mature sagebrush ecosystems. We used initial soil characteristics and carbon values for three location and modeled future climate at those locations for four different climate scenarios. We found that mature sagebrush ecosystems continued to act as carbon sinks into the future under all different climate change scenarios. The magnitude of carbon storage differed depending on initial conditions and soil characteristics at each site. Climate change may affect the potential for sequestration by increasing carbon loss through respiration, but we found that increased losses were offset by increased gains through greater primary production.