# Regeneration rate of nature after environmental catastrophes

It sounds logical, but I wonder if the regeneration rate of nature (natural absorption of $\ce{CO_2}$) is decreased after an environmental catastrophe (resource stock depletion, etc.)?

Or are most catastrophes mainly caused by the decrease of regeneration rate of nature?

I would really appreciate academic references on this issue.

• Welcome to earthscience.stackexchange.com. It may help if you define what you mean by regeneration rate of nature? – Isopycnal Oscillation Apr 23 '15 at 17:50
• @IsopycnalOscillation natural absorption of CO2 could an example. – optimal control Apr 23 '15 at 17:53
• I think it might help to give a specific example of the sort of scenarios you're thinking of, or maybe some references to things you've read on the subject. When you say 'nature' I guess you mean living things? Are you most interested in natural or man-made disasters? – kwinkunks Apr 23 '15 at 18:26

If the prior ecosystem was dominated by live vegetation such that the detritus emitting $\ce{CO_2}$ was much less than the $\ce{CO_2}$ uptake by plants, then a catastrophe will generally lower the $\ce{CO_2}$ uptake.
When the catastrophe (e.g. lava flow or land slide) creates a new land-surface, then primary succession begins with the establishment of generally small forms of life and $\ce{CO_2}$ sequestration would be minimal. Otherwise, if the catastrophe leaves behind some form of the prior ecological community, then secondary succession can occur and the region would be able to return to higher $\ce{CO_2}$ sequestration rates much sooner relative to a primary succession event.