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Elevated CO2 enrichment induces a differential biomass response in a mixed species temperate forest plantation

Smith, A. R., Lukac, M., Hood, R., Healey, J. R., Miglietta, F. and Godbold, D. L. (2013) Elevated CO2 enrichment induces a differential biomass response in a mixed species temperate forest plantation. New Phytologist, 198 (1). pp. 156-168. ISSN 1469-8137

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/nph.12136

Abstract/Summary

• In a free-air CO2 enrichment study (BangorFACE) Alnus glutinosa, Betula pendula and Fagus sylvatica were planted in areas of one, two and three species mixtures (n=4). The trees were exposed to ambient or elevated CO2 (580 µmol mol-1) for four years, and aboveground growth characteristics measured. • In monoculture, the mean effect of CO2 enrichment on aboveground woody biomass was +29, +22 and +16% for A. glutinosa, F. sylvatica, and B. pendula respectively. When the same species were grown in polyculture, the response to CO2 switched to +10, +7 and 0%, for A. glutinosa, B. pendula, and F. sylvatica respectively. • In ambient atmosphere our species grown in polyculture increased aboveground woody biomass from 12.9 ± 1.4 kg m-2 to 18.9 ± 1.0 kg m-2, whereas in an elevated CO2 atmosphere aboveground woody biomass increased from 15.2 ± 0.6 kg m-2 to 20.2 ± 0.6 kg m-2. The overyielding effect of polyculture was smaller (+7%) in elevated CO2 than in an ambient atmosphere (+18%). • Our results show that the aboveground response to elevated CO2 is significantly affected by intra- and inter-specific competition, and that elevated CO2 response may be reduced in forest communities comprised of tree species with contrasting functional traits.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Biodiversity, Crops and Agroecosystems Division > Crops Research Group
ID Code:30144
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell

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