Coppicing shifts CO2 stimulation of poplar productivity to above-ground pools: a synthesis of leaf to stand level results from the POP/EUROFACE experiment
Liberloo, M., Lukac, M., Calfapietra, C., Hoosbeek, M. R., Gielen, B., Miglietta, F., Scarascia-Mugnozza, G. E. and Ceulemans, R. (2009) Coppicing shifts CO2 stimulation of poplar productivity to above-ground pools: a synthesis of leaf to stand level results from the POP/EUROFACE experiment. New Phytologist, 182 (2). pp. 331-346. ISSN 0028-646X
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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2008.02754.x
A poplar short rotation coppice (SRC) grown for the production of bioenergy can combine carbon (C) storage with fossil fuel substitution. Here, we summarize the responses of a poplar (Populus) plantation to 6 yr of free air CO2 enrichment (POP/EUROFACE consisting of two rotation cycles). We show that a poplar plantation growing in nonlimiting light, nutrient and water conditions will significantly increase its productivity in elevated CO2 concentrations ([CO2]). Increased biomass yield resulted from an early growth enhancement and photosynthesis did not acclimate to elevated [CO2]. Sufficient nutrient availability, increased nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) and the large sink capacity of poplars contributed to the sustained increase in C uptake over 6 yr. Additional C taken up in high [CO2] was mainly invested into woody biomass pools. Coppicing increased yield by 66% and partly shifted the extra C uptake in elevated [CO2] to above-ground pools, as fine root biomass declined and its [CO2] stimulation disappeared. Mineral soil C increased equally in ambient and elevated [CO2] during the 6 yr experiment. However, elevated [CO2] increased the stabilization of C in the mineral soil. Increased productivity of a poplar SRC in elevated [CO2] may allow shorter rotation cycles, enhancing the viability of SRC for biofuel production.