skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Drivers of terrestrial plant production across broad geographical gradients

ORCiD logo [1];  [2]; ORCiD logo [3]
  1. Earth and Environmental Sciences Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos New Mexico, Biosphere 2, University of Arizona, Tucson Arizona, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, Tucson Arizona
  2. Department of Biology, Kenyon College, Gambier Ohio
  3. Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, Tucson Arizona, The Santa Fe Institute, Santa Fe New Mexico
Publication Date:
Sponsoring Org.:
OSTI Identifier:
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Publisher's Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Global Ecology and Biogeography
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 27; Journal Issue: 2; Related Information: CHORUS Timestamp: 2018-01-18 06:01:50; Journal ID: ISSN 1466-822X
Country of Publication:
Country unknown/Code not available

Citation Formats

Michaletz, Sean T., Kerkhoff, Andrew J., and Enquist, Brian J. Drivers of terrestrial plant production across broad geographical gradients. Country unknown/Code not available: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1111/geb.12685.
Michaletz, Sean T., Kerkhoff, Andrew J., & Enquist, Brian J. Drivers of terrestrial plant production across broad geographical gradients. Country unknown/Code not available. doi:10.1111/geb.12685.
Michaletz, Sean T., Kerkhoff, Andrew J., and Enquist, Brian J. 2017. "Drivers of terrestrial plant production across broad geographical gradients". Country unknown/Code not available. doi:10.1111/geb.12685.
title = {Drivers of terrestrial plant production across broad geographical gradients},
author = {Michaletz, Sean T. and Kerkhoff, Andrew J. and Enquist, Brian J.},
abstractNote = {},
doi = {10.1111/geb.12685},
journal = {Global Ecology and Biogeography},
number = 2,
volume = 27,
place = {Country unknown/Code not available},
year = 2017,
month =

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
This content will become publicly available on December 6, 2018
Publisher's Accepted Manuscript

Save / Share:
  • The Earth’s atmosphere will continue to be enriched with carbon dioxide (CO 2) over the coming century. Carbon dioxide enrichment often reduces leaf transpiration, which in water-limited ecosystems may increase soil water content, change species abundances and increase the productivity of plant communities. The effect of increased soil water on community productivity and community change may be greater in ecosystems with lower precipitation, or on coarser-textured soils, but responses are likely absent in deserts. We tested correlations among yearly increases in soil water content, community change and community plant productivity responses to CO 2 enrichment in experiments in a mesicmore » grassland with fine- to coarse-textured soils, a semi-arid grassland and a xeric shrubland. We found no correlation between CO 2-caused changes in soil water content and changes in biomass of dominant plant taxa or total community aboveground biomass in either grassland type or on any soil in the mesic grassland (P > 0.60). Instead, increases in dominant taxa biomass explained up to 85% of the increases in total community biomass under CO 2 enrichment. The effect of community change on community productivity was stronger in the semi-arid grassland than in the mesic grassland,where community biomass change on one soil was not correlated with the change in either the soil water content or the dominant taxa. No sustained increases in soil water content or community productivity and no change in dominant plant taxa occurred in the xeric shrubland. Thus, community change was a crucial driver of community productivity responses to CO 2 enrichment in the grasslands, but effects of soil water change on productivity were not evident in yearly responses to CO 2 enrichment. In conclusion, future research is necessary to isolate and clarify the mechanisms controlling the temporal and spatial variations in the linkages among soil water, community change and plant productivity responses to CO 2 enrichment.« less
  • Plants in terrestrial and aquatic environments contain a diverse microbiome. Yet, the chloroplast and mitochondria organelles of the plant eukaryotic cell originate from free-living cyanobacteria and Rickettsiales. This represents a challenge for sequencing the plant microbiome with universal primers, as ~99% of 16S rRNA sequences may consist of chloroplast and mitochondrial sequences. Peptide nucleic acid clamps offer a potential solution by blocking amplification of host-associated sequences. We assessed the efficacy of chloroplast and mitochondria-blocking clamps against a range of microbial taxa from soil, freshwater and marine environments. While we found that the mitochondrial blocking clamps appear to be a robustmore » method for assessing animal-associated microbiota, Proteobacterial 16S rRNA binds to the chloroplast-blocking clamp, resulting in a strong sequencing bias against this group. We attribute this bias to a conserved 14-bp sequence in the Proteobacteria that matches the 17-bp chloroplast-blocking clamp sequence. By scanning the Greengenes database, we provide a reference list of nearly 1500 taxa that contain this 14-bp sequence, including 48 families such as the Rhodobacteraceae, Phyllobacteriaceae, Rhizobiaceae, Kiloniellaceae and Caulobacteraceae. To determine where these taxa are found in nature, we mapped this taxa reference list against the Earth Microbiome Project database. These taxa are abundant in a variety of environments, particularly aquatic and semiaquatic freshwater and marine habitats. To facilitate informed decisions on effective use of organelle-blocking clamps, we provide a searchable database of microbial taxa in the Greengenes and Silva databases matching various n-mer oligonucleotides of each PNA sequence.« less
  • Leaf and total plant litter amounts worldwide are estimated by climatic curve-fits and mapped by computer using a world climatic data base. Computer planimetry of the maps produced estimates of yearly terrestrial leaf litter (35.1 x 10 to the power of 9t) and total litter production (54.8 x 10 to the power of 9t). This is about 1.3% and 2.0% respectively, of the estimated world totals of detrital soil organic matter. (Refs. 20).
  • This paper reports on the recirculating power fraction of a laser-driven inertial confinement fusion (ICF) reactor which can be reduced by using laser diodes to pump a neodymium solid-state laser. To overcome the high costs of two-dimensional arrays of laser diodes, two types of superresonators are proposed: a terrestrially based one and an extraterrestrially based one on a geostationary orbit. Both are designed in such a way that a sequence of short laser pulses (10 to 20 ns wide), each with an energy of 5 to 10 MJ and a frequency of 10 Hz, are produced to trigger a deuterium-tritiummore » ICF reactor. The terrestrial superresonator needs a much smaller number of two-dimensional laser diode arrays than a conventionally pumped once-through solid-state laser system, and the extraterrestrial resonator is pumped by means of concentrated solar radiation. In practice, at least an order of magnitude fewer laser diodes and crystalline calcium fluoride gain media are needed to meet the requirements of a laser driver for an ICF reactor. If, finally, a liquid neodymium laser system could be used for an ICF reactor, the cooling of the gain slabs would be facilitated substantially.« less
  • Terrestrial ecosystems play a vital role in regulating the accumulation of carbon (C) in the atmosphere. Understanding the factors controlling land C uptake is critical for reducing uncertainties in projections of future climate. The relative importance of changing climate, rising atmospheric CO2, and other factors, however, remains unclear despite decades of research. Here, we use an ensemble of land models to show that models disagree on the primary driver of cumulative C uptake for 85% of vegetated land area. Disagreement is largest in model sensitivity to rising atmospheric CO2 which shows almost twice the variability in cumulative land uptake sincemore » 1901 (1 s.d. of 212.8 PgC vs. 138.5 PgC, respectively). We find that variability in CO2 and temperature sensitivity is attributable, in part, to their compensatory effects on C uptake, whereby comparable estimates of C uptake can arise by invoking different sensitivities to key environmental conditions. Conversely, divergent estimates of C uptake can occur despite being based on the same environmental sensitivities. Together, these findings imply an important limitation to the predictability of C cycling and climate under unprecedented environmental conditions. We suggest that the carbon modeling community prioritize a probabilistic multi-model approach to generate more robust C cycle projections.« less