BioEnergy Research

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 651–662 | Cite as

Effects of Elevated CO2 and Temperature on Biomass Growth and Allocation in a Boreal Bioenergy Crop (Phalaris arundinacea L.) from Young and Old Cultivations

  • Chao ZhangEmail author
  • Zhen-Ming Ge
  • Seppo Kellomäki
  • Kai-Yun Wang
  • Jin-Nan Gong
  • Xiao Zhou


An auto-controlled climate system was used to study how a boreal bioenergy crop (reed canary grass, Phalaris arundinacea L., hereafter RCG) responded to a warming climate and elevated CO2. Over one growing season (April–September of 2009), RCG from young and old cultivations (3 years [3-year] and 10 years [10-year]) was grown in closed chambers under ambient conditions (CON), elevated CO2 (EC, approximately 700 μmol mol−1), elevated temperature (ET, ambient + approximately 3 °C) and elevated temperature and CO2 (ETC). The treatments were replicated four times. Throughout the growing season, the above-ground (leaf and stem biomass) and below-ground biomasses were measured six times, representing various developmental stages (early stages: the first three stages, and late stages: the last three stages). Compared to the growth observed under CON, EC enhanced RCG biomass growth over the whole growing season (p < 0.05), whereas ET increased RCG biomass growth in early stages but decreased growth in late stages, regardless of the cultivation age. However, the negative effect of ET later in the growing season was partially mitigated by CO2 enrichment. Compared to CON plants, the final total biomass was 18 % higher for 3-year plants and 8 % higher for 10-year plants grown under EC. In comparison, for 3-year and 10-year plants, the biomass was 5 and 3 % lower under ET and 7 and 4 % greater under ETC, respectively. Under EC, the below-ground growth contributed more to the total biomass growth compared to the above-ground portion. The opposite situation was observed under ET and ETC. The climate-related changes in biomass growth were smaller in the old cultivation than in the young cultivation due to the lower net assimilation rate and lower specific leaf area in the old cultivation plants.


Climate change Biomass growth Biomass allocation Age of cultivation Phalaris arundinacea L. 



This work was funded through the Finnish Distinguished Professor Program (FiDiPro) (2008–2012) of the Academy of Finland (project no. 127299-A5060-06). We acknowledge the support of Olli Reinikainen, Vapo BioEnergy Ltd., for providing necessary information on the field sites. The controlled climate chambers are funded by European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) granted by the State Provincial Office of Eastern Finland. Matti Lemettinen, Alpo Hassinen and Risto Ikonen, the Mekrijärvi Research Station, University of Eastern Finland, are thanked for technical assistance and support in running the experimental infrastructure.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chao Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Zhen-Ming Ge
    • 1
  • Seppo Kellomäki
    • 1
  • Kai-Yun Wang
    • 2
  • Jin-Nan Gong
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xiao Zhou
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Forest SciencesUniversity of Eastern FinlandJoensuuFinland
  2. 2.Shanghai Key Laboratory of Urbanization and Ecological RestorationEast China Normal UniversityShanghaiChina

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