Planta

, Volume 239, Issue 2, pp 421–435

Effects of elevated CO2, warming and precipitation change on plant growth, photosynthesis and peroxidation in dominant species from North China grassland

Authors

    • State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of BotanyChinese Academy of Sciences
    • Center for Regional Environmental ResearchNational Institute for Environmental Studies
  • Hideyuki Shimizu
    • Center for Regional Environmental ResearchNational Institute for Environmental Studies
  • Shoko Ito
    • Center for Regional Environmental ResearchNational Institute for Environmental Studies
  • Yasumi Yagasaki
    • Center for Regional Environmental ResearchNational Institute for Environmental Studies
  • Chunjing Zou
    • Center for Regional Environmental ResearchNational Institute for Environmental Studies
    • Shanghai Key Lab for Urban Ecological Processes and Eco-Restoration, School of Life SciencesEast China Normal University
  • Guangsheng Zhou
    • State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of BotanyChinese Academy of Sciences
    • Chinese Academy of Meteorological SciencesChina Meteorological Administration
  • Yuanrun Zheng
    • State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of BotanyChinese Academy of Sciences
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00425-013-1987-9

Cite this article as:
Xu, Z., Shimizu, H., Ito, S. et al. Planta (2014) 239: 421. doi:10.1007/s00425-013-1987-9

Abstract

Warming, watering and elevated atmospheric CO2-concentration effects have been extensively studied separately; however, their combined impact on plants is not well understood. In the current research, we examined plant growth and physiological responses of three dominant species from the Eurasian Steppe with different functional traits to a combination of elevated CO2, high temperature, and four simulated precipitation patterns. Elevated CO2 stimulated plant growth by 10.8–41.7 % for a C3 leguminous shrub, Caragana microphylla, and by 33.2–52.3 % for a C3 grass, Stipa grandis, across all temperature and watering treatments. Elevated CO2, however, did not affect plant biomass of a C4 grass, Cleistogenes squarrosa, under normal or increased precipitation, whereas a 20.0–69.7 % stimulation of growth occurred with elevated CO2 under drought conditions. Plant growth was enhanced in the C3 shrub and the C4 grass by warming under normal precipitation, but declined drastically with severe drought. The effects of elevated CO2 on leaf traits, biomass allocation and photosynthetic potential were remarkably species-dependent. Suppression of photosynthetic activity, and enhancement of cell peroxidation by a combination of warming and severe drought, were partly alleviated by elevated CO2. The relationships between plant functional traits and physiological activities and their responses to climate change were discussed. The present results suggested that the response to CO2 enrichment may strongly depend on the response of specific species under varying patterns of precipitation, with or without warming, highlighting that individual species and multifactor dependencies must be considered in a projection of terrestrial ecosystem response to climatic change.

Keywords

C3 and C4 speciesClimatic changeElevated CO2GrasslandMultiple factor analysisPhotosynthetic capacityPlant functional typePlant growth traits

Abbreviations

Fv/Fm

Maximal efficiency of PSII photochemistry

Jmax

Maximum rate of electron transport

LARMR

Leaf area and root mass ratio

LMR

Leaf mass ratio

RGR

Relative growth rate

MDA

Malondialdehyde

PCA

Principal component analysis

PSII

Photosystem II

RMR

Root mass ratio

SLA

Specific leaf area

SSL

Specific stem length

SMR

Stem mass ratio

Vc,max

Maximum rate of carboxylation

×

Sign for combination or interaction treatments

Supplementary material

425_2013_1987_MOESM1_ESM.doc (142 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 142 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013