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Title: PHOTOSYNTHESIS AND RESOURCE ALLOCATION OF THREE MOJAVE DESERT GRASSES IN RESPONSE TO ELEVATED ATMOSPHERIC CO2

Gas exchange, biomass and N allocation were compared among three Mojave Desert grasses representing different functional types to determine if photosynthetic responses and the associated allocation of resources within the plant changed after prolonged exposure to elevated CO{sub 2}. Leaf gas exchange characteristics were measured for Bromus madritensis ssp. rubens (C{sub 3} invasive annual), Achnatherum hymenoides (C{sub 3} native perennial) and Pleuraphis rigida (C{sub 4} native perennial) exposed to 360 {micro}mol mol{sup -1} (ambient) and 1000 {micro}mol mol{sup -1} (elevated) CO{sub 2} concentrations in a glasshouse experiment, and tissue biomass and total N pools were quantified from three harvests during development. The maximum rate of carboxylation by the N-rich enzyme Rubisco (Vc{sub max}), which was inferred from the relationship between net CO{sub 2} assimilation (A{sub net}) and intracellular CO{sub 2} concentration (c{sub i}), declined in the C{sub 3} species Bromus and Achnatherum across all sampling dates, but did not change at elevated CO{sub 2} for the C{sub 4} Pleuraphis. Whole plant N remained the same between CO{sub 2} treatments for all species, but patterns of allocation differed for the short- and long-lived C{sub 3} species. For Bromus, leaf N used for photosynthesis was reallocated to reproduction at elevated CO{sub 2}more » as inferred from the combination of lower Vc{sub max} and N per leaf area (NLA) at elevated CO{sub 2}, but similar specific leaf area (SLA, cm{sup 2} g{sup -1}), and of greater reproductive effort (RE) for the elevated CO{sub 2} treatment. Vc{sub max}, leaf N concentration and NLA declined for the perennial Achnatherum at elevated CO{sub 2} potentially due to accumulation of carbohydrates or changes in leaf morphology inferred from lower SLA and greater total biomass at elevated CO{sub 2}. In contrast, Vc{sub max} for the C{sub 4} perennial Pleuraphis did not change at elevated CO{sub 2}, and tissue biomass and total N were the same between CO{sub 2} treatments. Adjustments in photosynthetic capacity at elevated CO{sub 2} may optimize N allocation of C{sub 3} species in the Mojave Desert, which may influence plant performance and plant-plant interactions of these co-occurring species.« less
Authors:
; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
859253
DOE Contract Number:
FG03-96ER62292
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Research Org:
UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
09 BIOMASS FUELS; BIOMASS; CAPACITY; CARBOHYDRATES; CARBOXYLATION; DESERTS; ENZYMES; FUNCTIONALS; MORPHOLOGY; PERFORMANCE; PHOTOSYNTHESIS; REPRODUCTION; SAMPLING