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Title: Dominant plant taxa predict plant productivity responses to CO 2 enrichment across precipitation and soil gradients

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 mesic 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 wasmore » 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
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5]
  1. USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Temple, TX (United States). Grassland, Soil, and Water Lab.
  2. Univ. of Idaho, Moscow, ID (United States). College of Natural Resources; USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Reno, NV (United States). Great Basin Rangelands Research
  3. USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Fort Collins, CO (United States). Rangeland Resources Research Unit
  4. Univ. of Nevada, Reno, NV (United States). Dept. of Natural Resources and Environmental Science
  5. Univ. of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV (United States). School of Life Sciences
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
SC0006973; FG02-03ER63651; DEB-0212812; IBN-9524068; DEB-9708596; DEB-9350273; 1021559
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
AoB Plants
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 7; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-2851
Publisher:
Oxford University Press; Annals of Botany Company
Research Org:
Univ. of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV (United States); USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Temple, TX (United States); Univ. of Wyoming, Laramie, WY (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23); National Science Foundation (NSF); US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA). Agricultural Research Service (ARS)
Contributing Orgs:
Univ. of Idaho, Moscow, ID (United States); USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Reno, NV (United States); USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Fort Collins, CO (United States); Univ. of Nevada, Reno, NV (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES; Central Plains grasslands; climate change; community change; Mojave Desert; primary productivity; rangelands; threshold responses
OSTI Identifier:
1348370
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1454915

Fay, Philip A., Newingham, Beth A., Polley, H. Wayne, Morgan, Jack A., LeCain, Daniel R., Nowak, Robert S., and Smith, Stanley D.. Dominant plant taxa predict plant productivity responses to CO2 enrichment across precipitation and soil gradients. United States: N. p., Web. doi:10.1093/aobpla/plv027.
Fay, Philip A., Newingham, Beth A., Polley, H. Wayne, Morgan, Jack A., LeCain, Daniel R., Nowak, Robert S., & Smith, Stanley D.. Dominant plant taxa predict plant productivity responses to CO2 enrichment across precipitation and soil gradients. United States. doi:10.1093/aobpla/plv027.
Fay, Philip A., Newingham, Beth A., Polley, H. Wayne, Morgan, Jack A., LeCain, Daniel R., Nowak, Robert S., and Smith, Stanley D.. 2015. "Dominant plant taxa predict plant productivity responses to CO2 enrichment across precipitation and soil gradients". United States. doi:10.1093/aobpla/plv027. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1348370.
@article{osti_1348370,
title = {Dominant plant taxa predict plant productivity responses to CO2 enrichment across precipitation and soil gradients},
author = {Fay, Philip A. and Newingham, Beth A. and Polley, H. Wayne and Morgan, Jack A. and LeCain, Daniel R. and Nowak, Robert S. and Smith, Stanley D.},
abstractNote = {The Earth’s atmosphere will continue to be enriched with carbon dioxide (CO2) 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 CO2 enrichment in experiments in a mesic grassland with fine- to coarse-textured soils, a semi-arid grassland and a xeric shrubland. We found no correlation between CO2-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 CO2 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 CO2 enrichment in the grasslands, but effects of soil water change on productivity were not evident in yearly responses to CO2 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 CO2 enrichment.},
doi = {10.1093/aobpla/plv027},
journal = {AoB Plants},
number = ,
volume = 7,
place = {United States},
year = {2015},
month = {3}
}