Elevated CO2 and nutrient addition alter soil N cycling and N trace gas fluxes with early season wet-up in a California annual grassland

Bruce A Hungate, Christopher P. Lund, Holly L. Pearson, F. Stuart Chapin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

99 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We examined the effects of growth carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration and soil nutrient availability on nitrogen (N) transformations and N trace gas fluxes in California grassland microcosms during early-season wet-up, a time when rates of N transformation and N trace gas flux are high. After plant senescence and summer drought, we simulated the first fall rains and examined N cycling. Growth at elevated CO2 increased root production and root carbon:nitrogen ratio. Under nutrient enrichment, elevated CO2 increased microbial N immobilization during wet-up, leading to a 43% reduction in gross nitrification and a 55% reduction in NO emission from soil. Elevated CO2 increased microbial N immobilization at ambient nutrients, but did not alter nitrification or NO emission. Elevated CO2 did not alter soil emission of N2O at either nutrient level. Addition of NPK fertilizer (1:1:1) stimulated N mineralization and nitrification, leading to increased N2O and NO emission from soil. The results of our study support a mechanistic model in which elevated CO2 alters soil N cycling and NO emission: increased root production and increased C:N ratio in elevated CO2 stimulate N immobilization, thereby decreasing nitrification and associated NO emission when nutrients are abundant. This model is consistent with our basic understanding of how C availability influences soil N cycling and thus may apply to many terrestrial ecosystems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-109
Number of pages21
JournalBiogeochemistry
Volume37
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

trace gas
wet season
Nutrients
Nitrification
Gases
grassland
nitrification
Fluxes
Soils
nutrient
immobilization
soil
Nitrogen
Availability
soil emission
nitrogen
nutrient enrichment
senescence
nutrient availability
terrestrial ecosystem

Keywords

  • N
  • N pool dilution
  • annual grassland
  • elevated CO
  • first autumn rains
  • gross mineralization
  • gross nitrification
  • NO
  • NO
  • NPK fertilizer
  • trace gases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Science(all)

Cite this

Elevated CO2 and nutrient addition alter soil N cycling and N trace gas fluxes with early season wet-up in a California annual grassland. / Hungate, Bruce A; Lund, Christopher P.; Pearson, Holly L.; Chapin, F. Stuart.

In: Biogeochemistry, Vol. 37, No. 2, 1997, p. 89-109.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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