, Volume 94, Issue 3, pp 271–287 | Cite as

The effects of elevated atmospheric CO2 and nitrogen amendments on subsurface CO2 production and concentration dynamics in a maturing pine forest

  • Edoardo DalyEmail author
  • Sari Palmroth
  • Paul Stoy
  • Mario Siqueira
  • A. Christopher Oishi
  • Jehn-Yih Juang
  • Ram Oren
  • Amilcare Porporato
  • Gabriel G. Katul


Profiles of subsurface soil CO2 concentration, soil temperature, and soil moisture, and throughfall were measured continuously during the years 2005 and 2006 in 16 locations at the free air CO2 enrichment facility situated within a temperate loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) stand. Sampling at these locations followed a 4 by 4 replicated experimental design comprised of two atmospheric CO2 concentration levels (ambient [CO2]a, ambient + 200 ppmv, [CO2]e) and two soil nitrogen (N) deposition levels (ambient, ambient + fertilization at 11.2 gN m−2 year−1). The combination of these measurements permitted indirect estimation of belowground CO2 production and flux profiles in the mineral soil. Adjacent to the soil CO2 profiles, direct (chamber-based) measurements of CO2 fluxes from the soil–litter complex were simultaneously conducted using the automated carbon efflux system. Based on the measured soil CO2 profiles, neither [CO2]e nor N fertilization had a statistically significant effect on seasonal soil CO2, CO2 production, and effluxes from the mineral soil over the study period. Soil moisture and temperature had different effects on CO2 concentration depending on the depth. Variations in CO2 were mostly explained by soil temperature at deeper soil layers, while water content was an important driver at the surface (within the first 10 cm), where CO2 pulses were induced by rainfall events. The soil effluxes were equal to the CO2 production for most of the time, suggesting that the site reached near steady-state conditions. The fluxes estimated from the CO2 profiles were highly correlated to the direct measurements when the soil was neither very dry nor very wet. This suggests that a better parameterization of the soil CO2 diffusivity is required for these soil moisture extremes.


Soil CO2 dynamics Climate change Elevated atmospheric CO2 Nitrogen deposition Fertilization Loblolly pine 



The authors would like to thank Judd Edeburn and the Duke Forest staff, and Keith Lewin and the Brookhaven National Laboratories staff, in particular Robert Nettles, for their assistance at the Duke Forest FACE site. E. D. thanks Luca Grossini for his help with some of the analyses. The authors also thank T. Christensen and an anonymous reviewer for their suggestions. This research was supported by the Office of Science (BER), U.S. Department of Energy, Grant no. DE-FG02-95ER62083.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edoardo Daly
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sari Palmroth
    • 2
  • Paul Stoy
    • 3
  • Mario Siqueira
    • 2
    • 4
  • A. Christopher Oishi
    • 2
  • Jehn-Yih Juang
    • 5
  • Ram Oren
    • 2
  • Amilcare Porporato
    • 2
    • 6
  • Gabriel G. Katul
    • 2
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringMonash UniversityClaytonAustralia
  2. 2.Nicholas School of the EnvironmentDuke UniversityDurhamUSA
  3. 3.School of GeoSciences, Department of Atmospheric and Environmental ScienceUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghUK
  4. 4.Departamento de Engenharia MecânicaUniversidade de BrasíliaBrasíliaBrazil
  5. 5.Department of GeographyNational Taiwan UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  6. 6.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringDuke UniversityDurhamUSA

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