The fate of carbon in grasslands under carbon dioxide enrichment

Bruce A Hungate, Elisabeth A. Holland, Robert B. Jackson, F. Stuart Chapin, Harold A. Mooney, Christopher B. Field

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

368 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the Earth's atmosphere is rising rapidly, with the potential to alter many ecosystem processes. Elevated CO2 often stimulates photosynthesis, creating the possibility that the terrestrial biosphere will sequester carbon in response to rising atmospheric CO2 concentration, partly offsetting emissions from fossil-fuel combustion, cement manufacture, and deforestation. However, the responses of intact ecosystems to elevated CO2 concentration, particularly the below- ground responses, are not well understood. Here we present an annual budget focusing on below-ground carbon cycling for two grassland ecosystems exposed to elevated CO2 concentrations. Three years of experimental CO2 doubling increased ecosystem carbon uptake, but greatly increased carbon partitioning to rapidly cycling carbon pools below ground. This provides an explanation for the imbalance observed in numerous CO2 experiments, where the carbon increment from increased photosynthesis is greater than the increments in ecosystem carbon stocks. The shift in ecosystem carbon partitioning suggests that elevated CO2 concentration causes a greater increase in carbon cycling than in carbon storage in grasslands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)576-579
Number of pages4
JournalNature
Volume388
Issue number6642
DOIs
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

carbon dioxide enrichment
grassland
carbon
ecosystem
photosynthesis
partitioning
carbon sequestration
biosphere
deforestation
fossil fuel
combustion
carbon dioxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Hungate, B. A., Holland, E. A., Jackson, R. B., Chapin, F. S., Mooney, H. A., & Field, C. B. (1997). The fate of carbon in grasslands under carbon dioxide enrichment. Nature, 388(6642), 576-579. https://doi.org/10.1038/41550

The fate of carbon in grasslands under carbon dioxide enrichment. / Hungate, Bruce A; Holland, Elisabeth A.; Jackson, Robert B.; Chapin, F. Stuart; Mooney, Harold A.; Field, Christopher B.

In: Nature, Vol. 388, No. 6642, 1997, p. 576-579.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hungate, BA, Holland, EA, Jackson, RB, Chapin, FS, Mooney, HA & Field, CB 1997, 'The fate of carbon in grasslands under carbon dioxide enrichment', Nature, vol. 388, no. 6642, pp. 576-579. https://doi.org/10.1038/41550
Hungate BA, Holland EA, Jackson RB, Chapin FS, Mooney HA, Field CB. The fate of carbon in grasslands under carbon dioxide enrichment. Nature. 1997;388(6642):576-579. https://doi.org/10.1038/41550
Hungate, Bruce A ; Holland, Elisabeth A. ; Jackson, Robert B. ; Chapin, F. Stuart ; Mooney, Harold A. ; Field, Christopher B. / The fate of carbon in grasslands under carbon dioxide enrichment. In: Nature. 1997 ; Vol. 388, No. 6642. pp. 576-579.
@article{3ab0e81ef66f4b7d935f983381912625,
title = "The fate of carbon in grasslands under carbon dioxide enrichment",
abstract = "The concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the Earth's atmosphere is rising rapidly, with the potential to alter many ecosystem processes. Elevated CO2 often stimulates photosynthesis, creating the possibility that the terrestrial biosphere will sequester carbon in response to rising atmospheric CO2 concentration, partly offsetting emissions from fossil-fuel combustion, cement manufacture, and deforestation. However, the responses of intact ecosystems to elevated CO2 concentration, particularly the below- ground responses, are not well understood. Here we present an annual budget focusing on below-ground carbon cycling for two grassland ecosystems exposed to elevated CO2 concentrations. Three years of experimental CO2 doubling increased ecosystem carbon uptake, but greatly increased carbon partitioning to rapidly cycling carbon pools below ground. This provides an explanation for the imbalance observed in numerous CO2 experiments, where the carbon increment from increased photosynthesis is greater than the increments in ecosystem carbon stocks. The shift in ecosystem carbon partitioning suggests that elevated CO2 concentration causes a greater increase in carbon cycling than in carbon storage in grasslands.",
author = "Hungate, {Bruce A} and Holland, {Elisabeth A.} and Jackson, {Robert B.} and Chapin, {F. Stuart} and Mooney, {Harold A.} and Field, {Christopher B.}",
year = "1997",
doi = "10.1038/41550",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "388",
pages = "576--579",
journal = "Nature Cell Biology",
issn = "1465-7392",
publisher = "Nature Publishing Group",
number = "6642",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The fate of carbon in grasslands under carbon dioxide enrichment

AU - Hungate, Bruce A

AU - Holland, Elisabeth A.

AU - Jackson, Robert B.

AU - Chapin, F. Stuart

AU - Mooney, Harold A.

AU - Field, Christopher B.

PY - 1997

Y1 - 1997

N2 - The concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the Earth's atmosphere is rising rapidly, with the potential to alter many ecosystem processes. Elevated CO2 often stimulates photosynthesis, creating the possibility that the terrestrial biosphere will sequester carbon in response to rising atmospheric CO2 concentration, partly offsetting emissions from fossil-fuel combustion, cement manufacture, and deforestation. However, the responses of intact ecosystems to elevated CO2 concentration, particularly the below- ground responses, are not well understood. Here we present an annual budget focusing on below-ground carbon cycling for two grassland ecosystems exposed to elevated CO2 concentrations. Three years of experimental CO2 doubling increased ecosystem carbon uptake, but greatly increased carbon partitioning to rapidly cycling carbon pools below ground. This provides an explanation for the imbalance observed in numerous CO2 experiments, where the carbon increment from increased photosynthesis is greater than the increments in ecosystem carbon stocks. The shift in ecosystem carbon partitioning suggests that elevated CO2 concentration causes a greater increase in carbon cycling than in carbon storage in grasslands.

AB - The concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the Earth's atmosphere is rising rapidly, with the potential to alter many ecosystem processes. Elevated CO2 often stimulates photosynthesis, creating the possibility that the terrestrial biosphere will sequester carbon in response to rising atmospheric CO2 concentration, partly offsetting emissions from fossil-fuel combustion, cement manufacture, and deforestation. However, the responses of intact ecosystems to elevated CO2 concentration, particularly the below- ground responses, are not well understood. Here we present an annual budget focusing on below-ground carbon cycling for two grassland ecosystems exposed to elevated CO2 concentrations. Three years of experimental CO2 doubling increased ecosystem carbon uptake, but greatly increased carbon partitioning to rapidly cycling carbon pools below ground. This provides an explanation for the imbalance observed in numerous CO2 experiments, where the carbon increment from increased photosynthesis is greater than the increments in ecosystem carbon stocks. The shift in ecosystem carbon partitioning suggests that elevated CO2 concentration causes a greater increase in carbon cycling than in carbon storage in grasslands.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0030762491&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0030762491&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1038/41550

DO - 10.1038/41550

M3 - Article

VL - 388

SP - 576

EP - 579

JO - Nature Cell Biology

JF - Nature Cell Biology

SN - 1465-7392

IS - 6642

ER -