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Rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration ([CO2]) has the potential to stimulate ecosystem productivity and sink strength, reducing the effects of carbon (C) emissions on climate. In terrestrial ecosystems, increasing [CO2] can reduce soil nitrogen (N) availability to plants, preventing the stimulation of ecosystem C assimilation; a process known as progressive N limitation. Using ion exchange membranes to assess the availability of dissolved organic N, ammonium and nitrate, we found that CO2 enrichment in an Australian, temperate, perennial grassland did not increase plant productivity, but did reduce soil N availability, mostly by reducing nitrate availability. Importantly, the addition of 2 °C warming...
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? Rhizodeposition, or the addition of C from roots to soil C pools, is expected to increase if net primary production is stimulated and some excess C is allocated below-ground. We investigated the effects of 5 yrs of elevated CO2 on below-ground C dynamics in a native, C3?C4 grassland ecosystem in Colorado, USA. ? Cylinder harvests following each growing season and monolith excavation at the end of the experiment provided data on root biomass, root C : N ratios, and root and soil ?13C values. We applied an isotopic mixing model to quantify new soil C inputs on elevated and ambient CO2 treatments. ? Root biomass increased by 23% and root C : N ratios increased by 26% after 5 yrs of elevated CO2. Species-specific...
A major uncertainty in predicting long-term ecosystem C balance is whether stimulation of net primary production will be sustained in future atmospheric CO2 scenarios. Immobilization of nutrients (N in particular) in plant biomass and soil organic matter (SOM) provides negative feedbacks to plant growth and may lead to progressive N limitation (PNL) of plant response to CO2 enrichment. Soil microbes mediate N availability to plants by controlling litter decomposition and N transformations as well as dominating biological N fixation. CO2-induced changes in C inputs, plant nutrient demand and water use efficiency often have interactive and contrasting effects on microbes and microbially mediated N processes. One critical...
We tested the effects of plant species, fertilization and elevated CO2 on water-stable soil aggregation. Five annual grassland species and a plant community were grown in outdoor mesocosms for 4 years, with and without NPK fertilization, at ambient or elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Aggregate stability (resistance of aggregates to slaking) in the top 0.15 m of soil differed among plant species. However, the more diverse plant community did not enhance aggregate stability relative to most monocultures. Species differences in aggregate stability were positively correlated with soil active bacterial biomass, but did not correlate with root biomass or fungal length. Plant species did not affect aggregate stability...
Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi form mutualistic symbioses with the root systems of most plant species. These mutualisms regulate nutrient exchange in the plant?soil interface and might influence the way in which plants respond to increasing atmospheric CO2. In other experiments, mycorrhizal responses to elevated CO2 have been variable, so in this study we test the hypothesis that different genera of AM fungi differ in their response, and in turn alter the plant's response, to elevated CO2. Four species from three genera of AM fungi were tested. Artemisia tridentata Nutt. seedlings were inoculated with either Glomus intraradices Schenck & Smith, Glomus etunicatum Becker & Gerdemann, Acaulospora sp. or Scutellospora...
The magnitude of changes in carboxylation capacity in dominant plant species under long-term elevated CO2 exposure (elevated pCa) directly impacts ecosystem CO2 assimilation from the atmosphere. We analyzed field CO2 response curves of 16 C3 species of different plant growth forms in favorable growth conditions in four free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) experiments in a pine and deciduous forest, a grassland and a desert. Among species and across herb, tree and shrub growth forms there were significant enhancements in CO2 assimilation (A) by +40±5% in elevated pCa (49.5–57.1 Pa), although there were also significant reductions in photosynthetic capacity in elevated pCa in some species. Photosynthesis at a common...
In a water-limited system, the following hypotheses are proposed: warming will increase seedling mortality; elevated atmospheric CO2 will reduce seedling mortality by reducing transpiration, thereby increasing soil water availability; and longevity (i.e. whether a species is annual or perennial) will affect the response of a species to global changes. Here, these three hypotheses are tested by assessing the impact of elevated CO2 (550 micromol mol(-1) and warming (+2 degrees C) on seedling emergence, survivorship and establishment in an Australian temperate grassland from autumn 2004 to autumn 2007. Warming impacts on seedling survivorship were dependent upon species longevity. Warming reduced seedling survivorship...
The response of biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) to elevated CO(2) was examined in white clover (Trifolium repens)-dominated swards under both high and low phosphorus availability. Mixed swards of clover and buffalo grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum) were grown for 15 months in 0.2 m2 sand-filled mesocosms under two CO2 treatments (ambient and twice ambient) and three nutrient treatments [no N, and either low or high P (5 or 134 kg P ha(-1)); the third nutrient treatment was supplied with high P and N (240 kg N ha(-1))]. Under ambient CO2, high P increased BNF from 410 to 900 kg ha(-1). Elevated CO2 further increased BNF to 1180 kg ha(-1) with high P, but there was no effect of CO2 on BNF with low P. Allocation of...
SUMMARY: *Simulation models indicate that the nitrogen (N) cycle plays a key role in how other ecosystem processes such as plant productivity and carbon (C) sequestration respond to elevated CO(2) and warming. However, combined effects of elevated CO(2) and warming on N cycling have rarely been tested in the field. *Here, we studied N cycling under ambient and elevated CO(2) concentrations (600 micromol mol(-1)), and ambient and elevated temperature (1.5 : 3.0 degrees C warmer day:night) in a full factorial semiarid grassland field experiment in Wyoming, USA. We measured soil inorganic N, plant and microbial N pool sizes and NO(3)(-) uptake (using a (15)N tracer). *Soil inorganic N significantly decreased under...
Large intact soil cores of nearly pure stands of Pascopyrum smithii (western wheatgrass, C3) and Bouteloua gracilis (blue grama, C4) were extracted from the Central Plains Experimental Range in northeastern Colorado, USA and transferred to controlled environment chambers. Cores were exposed to a variety of water, temperature and CO2 regimes for a total of four annual growth cycles. Root subsamples were harvested after the completion of the second and fourth growth cycles at a time corresponding to late winter, and were examined microscopically for the presence of mycorrhizae. After two growth cycles in the growth chambers, 54% of the root length was colonized in P. smithii, compared to 35% in blue grama. Field control...
Some single-factor experiments suggest that elevated CO2 concentrations can increase soil carbon, but few experiments have examined the effects of interacting environmental factors on soil carbon dynamics. We undertook studies of soil carbon and nitrogen in a multi-factor (CO2 × temperature × soil moisture) climate change experiment on a constructed old-field ecosystem. After four growing seasons, elevated CO2 had no measurable effect on carbon and nitrogen concentrations in whole soil, particulate organic matter (POM), and mineral-associated organic matter (MOM). Analysis of stable carbon isotopes, under elevated CO2, indicated between 14 and 19% new soil carbon under two different watering treatments with as...
* 1 Productivity of dryland communities is often co-limited by water and nutrients. Since atmospheric CO2 enrichment induces water savings by plants, elevated CO2 and nutrients could interact to reduce growth limitation, irrespective of the direct influence of CO2 on photosynthesis. We studied CO2 effects in model communities from the semi-arid Negev of Israel with 17 mostly annual C3 species at three CO2 concentrations and three nutrient treatments. * 2 Community biomass increased at elevated (440 and 600 �L L?1) compared to pre-industrial CO2 (280 �L L?1) by 34% on average in the low-nutrient control, by 45% in the high P and by 50% in the high NPK treatment. Less evapotranspiration at elevated CO2 increased soil...
Soil is the largest reservoir of organic carbon (C) in the terrestrial biosphere and soil C has a relatively long mean residence time. Rising atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations generally increase plant growth and C input to soil, suggesting that soil might help mitigate atmospheric CO2 rise and global warming. But to what extent mitigation will occur is unclear. The large size of the soil C pool not only makes it a potential buffer against rising atmospheric CO2, but also makes it difficult to measure changes amid the existing background. Meta-analysis is one tool that can overcome the limited power of single studies. Four recent meta-analyses addressed this issue but reached somewhat different conclusions...


    map background search result map search result map Rhizodeposition stimulated by elevated CO2 in a semiarid grassland Rhizodeposition stimulated by elevated CO2 in a semiarid grassland