, Volume 116, Issue 1-2, pp 403-412

Among-Provenance Variability of Gas Exchange and Growth in Response to Long-Term Elevated CO2 Exposure

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Abstract

Genetic variability can have profound effects on the interpretation of results from elevated CO2 studies, and future forest management decisions. Information on which varieties are best suited to future atmospheric conditions is needed to develop future forest management practices. A large-scale screening study of the effects of elevated CO2 on 15 half-sibling sources of genetically superior ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Dougl ex P. Laws.) is presented. These sources represent multiple elevations and latitudes throughout California. Among-provenance variability in the effects of elevated CO2 on gas exchange and growth, and their correlation with geographic origin were investigated in ponderosa pine seedlings subjected to ambient or elevated CO2 concentrations (525 μmol mol-1 CO2, and 700 μmol mol-1 CO2) for more than two years in open-top chambers. Substantial among-provenance variability in growth response to elevated CO2 was evident, with 8 sources demonstrating no significant growth response to elevated CO2 while 7 sources responded positively. For all sources, elevated CO2 increased photosynthesis (ranging from 19% increase at 525 μmol mol-1 CO2 to 49% increase at 700 μmol mol-1 CO2). A modest correlation existed between geographic origin and above ground growth response to elevated CO2.