Plant diversity enhances ecosystem responses to elevated CO2 and nitrogen deposition

Reich, P B and Knops, J and Knops, D and et al, . (2001) Plant diversity enhances ecosystem responses to elevated CO2 and nitrogen deposition. Nature, 410. pp. 809-812.

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Human actions are causing declines in plant biodiversity, increases in atmospheric CO2 concentrations and increases in nitrogen deposition; however, the interactive effects of these factors on ecosystem processes are unknown1,2. Reduced biodiversity has raised numerous concerns, including the possibility that ecosystem functioning may be affected negatively1±4, which might be particularly important in the face of other global changes5,6. Here we present results of a grassland ®eld experiment in Minnesota, USA, that tests the hypothesis that plant diversity and composition in¯uence the enhancement of biomass and carbon acquisition in ecosystems subjected to elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations and nitrogen deposition. The study experimentally controlled plant diversity (1, 4, 9 or 16 species), soil nitrogen (unamended versus deposition of 4 g of nitrogen perm2 per yr) and atmospheric CO2 concentrations using freeair CO2 enrichment (ambient, 368mmol mol-1, versus elevated, 560 mmol mol-1).We found that the enhanced biomass accumulation in response to elevated levels of CO2 or nitrogen, or their combination, is less in species-poor than in species-rich assemblages.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Ecosystem, Co2, Nitrogen
Author Affiliation: Department of Forest Resources, University of Minnesota, St Paul, Minnesota 55108, USA
Subjects: Atmosperic Science
Divisions: General
Depositing User: Mr Siva Shankar
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2012 11:14
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2012 11:15
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