Carbon balance and water use efficiency of frequently cut Lolium perenne L. swards at elevated carbon dioxide

A. H C M Schapendonk, Paul Dijkstra, J. Groenwold, C. S. Pot, S. C D E Van Geijn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

The impact of doubled atmospheric [CO2] on the carbon balance of regularly cut Lolium perenne L. swards was studied for two years under semi-field conditions in the Wageningen Rhizolab. CO2 and H2O vapour exchange rates of the swards were measured continuously for two years in transparent enclosures. The light utilization efficiencies of the swards ranged between 1.5 g CO2 MJ-1 global radiation (high light, ambient [CO2]) and 2.8 g CO2 MJ-1 (low light, doubled [CO2]). The above-ground net primary productivity (NPP) in the enclosures was greater by 29% in 1994 and 43% in 1995 in the doubled [CO2] treatments, but only 20% and 25% more carbon was recovered in the periodical cuts. Thus, NPP increased significantly more than did the harvested above-ground biomass. The positive [CO2] effect on net carbon assimilation is therefore associated with a preferential allocation of extra carbon to the roots and soil. In addition to higher canopy photosynthesis and leaf elongation rates, a small part of the positive [CO2] effects on NPP could be attributed to a decrease of the specific respiration of the shoots. On a canopy basis however, respiration was equal or slightly higher at doubled [CO2] due to the higher amount of standing biomass. Comparison of NPP and carbon recovered in different harvests showed that allocation to roots and soil was highest in spring, it was low in early summer and increased again in late summer and autumn. The total gross amount of carbon partitioned to the roots and soil during the two year period was 57% more at doubled [CO2]. The total amount of carbon that was sequestered in the soil after subtraction of the respiratory losses was 458 g m-2 and 779 g m-2 in the ambient and doubled [CO2] treatments, respectively. The average water use efficiency (WUE) of the swards was increased by a factor 1.5 at doubled [CO2], Both WUE and its positive interaction with [CO2] varied between years and were positively correlated with global irradiance. At doubled [CO2], the higher WUE was fully compensated for by a higher leaf area index. Therefore, total transpiration on a canopy basis was equal for the ambient and the doubled [CO2] concentrations in both years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-216
Number of pages10
JournalGlobal Change Biology
Volume3
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

sward
carbon balance
water use efficiency
Carbon Dioxide
Carbon
carbon dioxide
Water
carbon
Productivity
productivity
Soils
canopy
Enclosures
respiration
soil
Biomass
summer
Transpiration
aboveground biomass
exchange rate

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • CO
  • Grassland
  • Light utilization efficiency
  • Lolium perenne
  • Photosynthesis
  • Respiration
  • Transpiration
  • Water use efficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Ecology
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Global and Planetary Change

Cite this

Schapendonk, A. H. C. M., Dijkstra, P., Groenwold, J., Pot, C. S., & Van Geijn, S. C. D. E. (1997). Carbon balance and water use efficiency of frequently cut Lolium perenne L. swards at elevated carbon dioxide. Global Change Biology, 3(3), 207-216.

Carbon balance and water use efficiency of frequently cut Lolium perenne L. swards at elevated carbon dioxide. / Schapendonk, A. H C M; Dijkstra, Paul; Groenwold, J.; Pot, C. S.; Van Geijn, S. C D E.

In: Global Change Biology, Vol. 3, No. 3, 1997, p. 207-216.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Schapendonk, AHCM, Dijkstra, P, Groenwold, J, Pot, CS & Van Geijn, SCDE 1997, 'Carbon balance and water use efficiency of frequently cut Lolium perenne L. swards at elevated carbon dioxide', Global Change Biology, vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 207-216.
Schapendonk, A. H C M ; Dijkstra, Paul ; Groenwold, J. ; Pot, C. S. ; Van Geijn, S. C D E. / Carbon balance and water use efficiency of frequently cut Lolium perenne L. swards at elevated carbon dioxide. In: Global Change Biology. 1997 ; Vol. 3, No. 3. pp. 207-216.
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