Oecologia

, Volume 109, Issue 1, pp 149–153

Stimulation of grassland nitrogen cycling under carbon dioxide enrichment

  • B. A. Hungate
  • F. S. Chapin III.
  • H. Zhong
  • E. A. Holland
  • C. B. Field

Abstract

 Nitrogen (N) limits plant growth in many terrestrial ecosystems, potentially constraining terrestrial ecosystem response to elevated CO2. In this study, elevated CO2 stimulated gross N mineralization and plant N uptake in two annual grasslands. In contrast to other studies that have invoked increased C input to soil as the mechanism altering soil N cycling in response to elevated CO2, increased soil moisture, due to decreased plant transpiration in elevated CO2, best explains the changes we observed. This study suggests that atmospheric CO2 concentration may influence ecosystem biogeochemistry through plant control of soil moisture.

Key words N mineralization Elevated CO2 Annual grasslands Soil moisture 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. A. Hungate
    • 1
  • F. S. Chapin III.
    • 1
  • H. Zhong
    • 1
  • E. A. Holland
    • 2
  • C. B. Field
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USAUS
  2. 2.National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO 80307, USAUS
  3. 3.Department of Plant Biology, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Stanford, CA 94305, USAUS

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