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  • 1
    ISSN: 1432-1939
    Keywords: CO2 ; Nutrients ; Pot size ; Root deployment ; Root restriction
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract Previously we examined how limited rooting space and nutrient supply influenced plant growth under elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations (McConnaughay et al. 1993). We demonstrated that plant growth enhancement under elevated CO2 was influenced more by the concentration of nutrients added to growth containers than to either the total nutrient content per pot or amount or the dimensions of available rooting space. To gain insight into how elevated CO2 atmospheres affect how plants utilize available belowground space when rooting space and nutrient supply are limited we measured the deployment of roots within pots through time. Contrary to aboveground responses, patterns of belowground deployment were most strongly influenced by elevated CO2 in pots of different volume and shape. Further, elevated CO2 conditions interacted differently with limited belowground space for the two species we studied,Abutilon theophrasti, a C3 dicot with a deep taproot, andSetaria faberii, a C4 monocot with a shallow fibrous root system. ForSetaria, elevated CO2 increased the size of the largest region of low root density at the pot surface in larger rooting volumes independent of nutrient content, thereby decreasing their efficiency of deployment. ForAbutilon, plants responded to elevated CO2 concentrations by equalizing the pattern of deployment in all the pots. Nutrient concentration, and not pot size or shape, greatly influenced the density of root growth. Root densities forAbutilon andSetaria were similar to those observed in field conditions, for annual dicots and monocots respectively, suggesting that studies using pots may successfully mimic natural conditions.
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  • 2
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    Springer
    Plant and soil 187 (1995), S. 119-131 
    ISSN: 1573-5036
    Keywords: C/N ; CO2 ; feedback ; mycorrhizae ; net primary productivity ; root architecture ; soil organic matter
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
    Notes: Abstract In this paper we present a conceptual model of integrated plant-soil interactions which illustrates the importance of identifying the primary belowground feedbacks, both positive and negative, which can simultaneously affect plant growth responses to elevated CO2. The primary negative feedbacks share the common feature of reducing the amount of nutrients available to plants. These negative feedbacks include increased litter C/N ratios, and therefore reduced mineralization rates, increased immobilization of available nutrients by a larger soil microbial pool, and increased storage of nutrients in plant biomass and detritus due to increases in net primary productivity (NPP). Most of the primary positive feedbacks share the common feature of being plant mediated feedbacks, the only exception being Zak et al.'s hypothesis that increased microbial biomass will be accompanied by increased mineralization rates. Plant nutrient uptake may be increased through alterations in root architecture, physiology, or mycorrhizal symbioses. Further, the increased C/N ratios of plant tissue mean that a given level of NPP can be achieved with a smaller supply of nitrogen. Identification of the net plant-soil feedbacks to enhanced productivity with elevated CO2 are a critical first step for any ecosystem. It is necessary, however, that we first identify how universally applicable the results are from one study of one ecosystem before ecosystem models incorporate this information. The effect of elevated CO2 on plant growth (including NPP, tissue quality, root architecture, mycorrhizal symbioses) can vary greatly for different species and environmental conditions. Therefore it is reasonable to expect that different ecosystems will show different patterns of interacting positive and negative feedbacks within the plant-soil system. This inter-ecosystem variability in the potential for long-term growth responses to rising CO2 levels implies that we need to parameterize mechanistic models of the impact of elevated CO2 on ecosystem productivity using a detailed understanding of each ecosystem of interest.
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  • 3
    ISSN: 1432-1939
    Keywords: Cassia ; Ipomoea ; Polygonum ; CO2 ; Reproduction
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract In assessing the capacity of plants to adapt to rapidly changing global climate, we must elucidate the impacts of elevated carbon dioxide on reproduction, fitness and evolution. We investigated how elevated CO2 influenced reproduction and growth of plants exhibiting a range of floral morphologies, the implications of shifts in allocation for fitness in these species, and whether related taxa would show similar patterns of response. Three herbaceous, annual species each of the genera Polygonum, Ipomoea, and Cassia were grown under 350 or 700 ppm CO2. Vegetative growth and reproductive output were measured non-destructively throughout the full life span, and vegetative biomass was quantified for a subsample of plants in a harvest at first flowering. Viability and germination studies of seed progeny were conducted to characterize fitness precisely. Early vegetative growth was often enhanced in high-CO2 grown plants of Polygonum and Cassia (but not Ipomoea). However, early vegetative growth was not a strong predictor of subsequent reproduction. Phenology and production of floral buds, flowers, unripe and abscised fruits differed between CO2 treatments, and genera differed in their reproductive and fitness responses to elevated CO2. Polygonum and Cassia species showed accelerated, enhanced reproduction, while Ipomoea species generally declined in reproductive output in elevated CO2. Seed “quality” and fitness (in terms of viability and percentage germination) were not always directly correlated with quantity produced, indicating that output alone may not reliably indicate fitness or evolutionary potential. Species within genera typically responded more consistently to CO2 than unrelated species. Cluster analyses were performed separately on suites of vegetative and reproductive characters. Some species assorted within genera when these reproductive responses were considered, but vegetative responses did not reflect taxonomic affinity in these plants. Congeners may respond similarly in terms of reproductive output under global change, but fitness and prognoses of population persistence and evolutionary performance can be inferred only rarely from examination of vegetative characters alone.
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  • 4
    ISSN: 1432-1939
    Keywords: Key wordsBetula ; CO2 ; Mycorrhizal fungi ; Nitrogen ; Pool dilution
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Biology
    Notes: Abstract The response of temperate forest ecosystems to elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations is important because these ecosystems represent a significant component of the global carbon cycle. Two important but not well understood processes which elevated CO2 may substantially alter in these systems are regeneration and nitrogen cycling. If elevated CO2 leads to changes in species composition in regenerating forest communities then the structure and function of these ecosystems may be affected. In most temperate forests, nitrogen appears to be a limiting nutrient. If elevated CO2 leads to reductions in nitrogen cycling through increased sequestration of nitrogen in plant biomass or reductions in mineralization rates, long-term forest productivity may be constrained. To study these processes, we established mesocosms of regenerating forest communities in controlled environments maintained at either ambient (375 ppm) or elevated (700 ppm) CO2 concentrations. Mesocosms were constructed from intact monoliths of organic forest soil. We maintained these mesocosms for 2 years without any external inputs of nitrogen and allowed the plants naturally present as seeds and rhizomes to regenerate. We used 15N pool dilution techniques to quantify nitrogen fluxes within the mesocosms at the end of the 2 years. Elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration significantly affected a number of plant and soil processes in the experimental regenerating forest mesocosms. These changes included increases in total plant biomass production, plant C/N ratios, ectomycorrhizal colonization of tree fine roots, changes in tree fine root architecture, and decreases in plant NH4 + uptake rates, gross NH4 + mineralization rates, and gross NH4 + consumption rates. In addition, there was a shift in the relative biomass contribution of the two dominant regenerating tree species; the proportion of total biomass contributed by white birch (Betula papyrifera) decreased and the proportion of total biomass contributed by yellow birch (B. alleghaniensis) increased. However, elevated CO2 had no significant effect on the total amount of nitrogen in plant and soil microbial biomass. In this study we observed a suite of effects due to elevated CO2, some of which could lead to increases in potential long term growth responses to elevated CO2, other to decreases. The reduced plant NH4 + uptake rates we observed are consistent with reduced NH4 + availability due to reduced gross mineralization rates. Reduced NH4 + mineralization rates are consistent with the increases in C/N ratios we observed for leaf and fine root material. Together, these data suggest the positive increases in plant root architectural parameters and mycorrhizal colonization may not be as important as the potential negative effects of reduced nitrogen availability through decreased decomposition rates in a future atmosphere with elevated CO2.
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