Disturbance, rainfall and contrasting species responses mediated aboveground biomass response to 11 years of CO2 enrichment in a Florida scrub-oak ecosystem

Troy J. Seiler, Daniel P. Rasse, Jiahong Li, Paul Dijkstra, Hans P. Anderson, David P. Johnson, Thomas L. Powell, Bruce A Hungate, C. Ross Hinkle, Bert G. Drake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study reports the aboveground biomass response of a fire-regenerated Florida scrub-oak ecosystem exposed to elevated CO2 (1996-2007), from emergence after fire through canopy closure. Eleven years exposure to elevated CO2 caused a 67% increase in aboveground shoot biomass. Growth stimulation was sustained throughout the experiment; although there was significant variability between years. The absolute stimulation of aboveground biomass generally declined over time, reflecting increasing environmental limitations to long-term growth response. Extensive defoliation caused by hurricanes in September 2004 was followed by a strong increase in shoot density in 2005 that may have resulted from reopening the canopy and relocating nitrogen from leaves to the nutrient-poor soil. Biomass response to elevated CO2 was driven primarily by stimulation of growth of the dominant species, Quercus myrtifolia, while Quercus geminata, the other co-dominant oak, displayed no significant CO2 response. Aboveground growth also displayed interannual variation, which was correlated with total annual rainfall. The rainfall × CO2 interaction was partially masked at the community level by species-specific responses: elevated CO2 had an ameliorating effect on Q. myrtifolia growth under water stress. The results of this long-term study not only show that atmospheric CO2 concentration had a consistent stimulating effect on aboveground biomass production, but also showed that available water is the primary driver of interannual variation in shoot growth and that the long-term response to elevated CO2 may have been caused by other factors such as nutrient limitation and disturbance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)356-367
Number of pages12
JournalGlobal Change Biology
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009

Fingerprint

scrub
aboveground biomass
Ecosystems
Rain
Biomass
disturbance
rainfall
ecosystem
annual variation
shoot
canopy
Nutrients
nutrient limitation
shoot growth
biomass
Fires
defoliation
growth response
water stress
soil nutrient

Keywords

  • Aboveground biomass
  • Canopy closure
  • Elevated CO
  • Long-termstimulation
  • Quercus geminata
  • Quercus myrtifolia
  • Resource limitation
  • Scrub-oak
  • Species-specific response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

Cite this

Disturbance, rainfall and contrasting species responses mediated aboveground biomass response to 11 years of CO2 enrichment in a Florida scrub-oak ecosystem. / Seiler, Troy J.; Rasse, Daniel P.; Li, Jiahong; Dijkstra, Paul; Anderson, Hans P.; Johnson, David P.; Powell, Thomas L.; Hungate, Bruce A; Hinkle, C. Ross; Drake, Bert G.

In: Global Change Biology, Vol. 15, No. 2, 2009, p. 356-367.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Seiler, Troy J. ; Rasse, Daniel P. ; Li, Jiahong ; Dijkstra, Paul ; Anderson, Hans P. ; Johnson, David P. ; Powell, Thomas L. ; Hungate, Bruce A ; Hinkle, C. Ross ; Drake, Bert G. / Disturbance, rainfall and contrasting species responses mediated aboveground biomass response to 11 years of CO2 enrichment in a Florida scrub-oak ecosystem. In: Global Change Biology. 2009 ; Vol. 15, No. 2. pp. 356-367.
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