Effects of elevated CO₂ and N fertilization on plant and soil carbon pools of managed grasslands: a meta-analysis

Sillen, W.M.A., and Dieleman, W.I.J. (2012) Effects of elevated CO₂ and N fertilization on plant and soil carbon pools of managed grasslands: a meta-analysis. Biogeosciences, 9. pp. 2247-2258.

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View at Publisher Website: https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-9-2247-2012
 
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Abstract

Elevated atmospheric CO₂ levels and increasing nitrogen deposition both stimulate plant production in terrestrial ecosystems. Moreover, nitrogen deposition could alleviate an increasing nitrogen limitation experienced by plants exposed to elevated CO₂ concentrations. However, an increased rate of C flux through the soil compartment as a consequence of elevated CO₂ concentrations has been suggested to limit C sequestration in terrestrial ecosystems, questioning the potential for terrestrial C uptake to mitigate the increasing atmospheric CO₂ concentrations. Our study used data from 69 published studies to investigate whether CO₂ elevation and/or nitrogen fertilization could induce an increased carbon storage in grasslands, and considered the influence of management practices involving biomass removal or irrigation on the elevated CO₂ effects. Our results confirmed a positive effect of elevated CO₂ levels and nitrogen fertilization on plant growth, but revealed that N availability is essential for the increased C influx under elevated CO₂ to propagate into belowground C pools. However, moderate nutrient additions also promoted decomposition processes in elevated CO₂, reducing the potential for increased soil C storage. An important role in the soil carbon response to elevated CO₂ was attributed to the root response, since there was a lower potential for increases in soil C content when root biomass was more responsive to CO₂ elevation. Future elevated CO₂ concentrations and increasing N deposition might thus increase C storage in plant biomass, but the potential for increased soil C storage is limited.

Item ID: 19963
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1726-4189
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© Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Originally published 11 Jan 2012 as: Sillen, W.M.A., and Dieleman, W.I.J. (2012) Root biomass responses to elevated CO₂ limit soil C sequestration in managed grasslands. Biogeosciences Discussions, 9 (1). pp. 357-386. [DOI 10.5194/bgd-9-357-2012]. See Related URLS for access.

Funders: University of Antwerp Research Centre of Excellence ECO
Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2012 05:15
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050204 Environmental Impact Assessment @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960310 Global Effects of Climate Change and Variability (excl. Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica and the South Pacific) @ 100%
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