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Title: Nitrogen uptake, distribution, turnover, and efficiency of use in a CO2-enriched sweetgum forest

Abstract

The Progressive Nitrogen Limitation (PNL) hypothesis suggests that ecosystems in a CO2-enriched atmosphere will sequester C and N in long-lived biomass and soil organic pools, thereby limiting available N and constraining the continued response of net primary productivity to elevated [CO2]. Here, we present a six-year record of N dynamics of a sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua) stand exposed to elevated [CO2] in the free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) experiment at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA. We also evaluate the concept of PNL for this ecosystem from the perspective of N uptake, content, distribution, and turnover, and N-use efficiency. Leaf N content was 11% lower on a leaf mass basis (NM) and 7% lower on a leaf area basis (N{sub A}) in CO2-enriched trees. However, there was no effect of [CO2] on total canopy N content. Resorption of N during senescence was not altered by [CO2], so NM of litter, but not total N content, was reduced. The NM of fine roots was not affected, but the total amount of N required for fine-root production increased significantly, reflecting the large stimulation of fine-root production in this stand. Hence, total N requirement of the trees was higher in elevated [CO2], and the increased requirement wasmore » met through an increase in N uptake rather than increased retranslocation of stored reserves. Increased N uptake was correlated with increased net primary productivity (NPP). N-use efficiency, however, did not change with CO2 enrichment because increased N productivity was offset by lower mean residence time of N in the trees. None of the measured responses of plant N dynamics in this ecosystem indicated the occurrence of PNL, and the stimulation of NPP by elevated [CO2] was sustained for the first six years of the experiment. Although there are some indications of developing changes in the N economy, the N supply in the soil at this site may be sufficient to meet an increasing demand for available N, especially as the roots of CO2-enriched trees explore deeper in the soil profile.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1]
  1. ORNL
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Oak Ridge National Environmental Research Park
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
932148
DOE Contract Number:  
DE-AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Ecology; Journal Volume: 87; Journal Issue: 1
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
09 BIOMASS FUELS; BIOMASS; CARBON DIOXIDE; DISTRIBUTION; ECOSYSTEMS; EFFICIENCY; FORESTS; HYPOTHESIS; NITROGEN; PRODUCTION; PRODUCTIVITY; SOILS; STIMULATION; TREES

Citation Formats

Norby, Richard J, and Iversen, Colleen M. Nitrogen uptake, distribution, turnover, and efficiency of use in a CO2-enriched sweetgum forest. United States: N. p., 2006. Web. doi:10.1890/04-1950.
Norby, Richard J, & Iversen, Colleen M. Nitrogen uptake, distribution, turnover, and efficiency of use in a CO2-enriched sweetgum forest. United States. doi:10.1890/04-1950.
Norby, Richard J, and Iversen, Colleen M. Sun . "Nitrogen uptake, distribution, turnover, and efficiency of use in a CO2-enriched sweetgum forest". United States. doi:10.1890/04-1950.
@article{osti_932148,
title = {Nitrogen uptake, distribution, turnover, and efficiency of use in a CO2-enriched sweetgum forest},
author = {Norby, Richard J and Iversen, Colleen M},
abstractNote = {The Progressive Nitrogen Limitation (PNL) hypothesis suggests that ecosystems in a CO2-enriched atmosphere will sequester C and N in long-lived biomass and soil organic pools, thereby limiting available N and constraining the continued response of net primary productivity to elevated [CO2]. Here, we present a six-year record of N dynamics of a sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua) stand exposed to elevated [CO2] in the free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) experiment at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA. We also evaluate the concept of PNL for this ecosystem from the perspective of N uptake, content, distribution, and turnover, and N-use efficiency. Leaf N content was 11% lower on a leaf mass basis (NM) and 7% lower on a leaf area basis (N{sub A}) in CO2-enriched trees. However, there was no effect of [CO2] on total canopy N content. Resorption of N during senescence was not altered by [CO2], so NM of litter, but not total N content, was reduced. The NM of fine roots was not affected, but the total amount of N required for fine-root production increased significantly, reflecting the large stimulation of fine-root production in this stand. Hence, total N requirement of the trees was higher in elevated [CO2], and the increased requirement was met through an increase in N uptake rather than increased retranslocation of stored reserves. Increased N uptake was correlated with increased net primary productivity (NPP). N-use efficiency, however, did not change with CO2 enrichment because increased N productivity was offset by lower mean residence time of N in the trees. None of the measured responses of plant N dynamics in this ecosystem indicated the occurrence of PNL, and the stimulation of NPP by elevated [CO2] was sustained for the first six years of the experiment. Although there are some indications of developing changes in the N economy, the N supply in the soil at this site may be sufficient to meet an increasing demand for available N, especially as the roots of CO2-enriched trees explore deeper in the soil profile.},
doi = {10.1890/04-1950},
journal = {Ecology},
number = 1,
volume = 87,
place = {United States},
year = {Sun Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2006},
month = {Sun Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2006}
}