Coppicing shifts CO2 stimulation of poplar productivity to above-ground pools: a synthesis of leaf to stand level results from the POP/EUROFACE experiment

M. Liberloo, M. Lukac, C. Calfapietra, M.R. Hoosbeek, B. Gielen, F. Miglietta, G.S. Mugnozza, R. Ceulemans

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38 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A poplar short rotation coppice (SRC) grown for the production of bioenergy can combine carbon (C) storage with fossil fuel substitution. Here, we summarize the responses of a poplar (Populus) plantation to 6 yr of free air CO2 enrichment (POP/EUROFACE consisting of two rotation cycles). We show that a poplar plantation growing in nonlimiting light, nutrient and water conditions will significantly increase its productivity in elevated CO2 concentrations ([CO2]). Increased biomass yield resulted from an early growth enhancement and photosynthesis did not acclimate to elevated [CO2]. Sufficient nutrient availability, increased nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) and the large sink capacity of poplars contributed to the sustained increase in C uptake over 6 yr. Additional C taken up in high [CO2] was mainly invested into woody biomass pools. Coppicing increased yield by 66% and partly shifted the extra C uptake in elevated [CO2] to above-ground pools, as fine root biomass declined and its [CO2] stimulation disappeared. Mineral soil C increased equally in ambient and elevated [CO2] during the 6 yr experiment. However, elevated [CO2] increased the stabilization of C in the mineral soil. Increased productivity of a poplar SRC in elevated [CO2] may allow shorter rotation cycles, enhancing the viability of SRC for biofuel production
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-346
JournalNew Phytologist
Volume182
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Keywords

  • elevated atmospheric co2
  • progressive nitrogen limitation
  • carbon-dioxide enrichment
  • short-rotation coppice
  • net primary production
  • warm-temperate forest
  • stomatal conductance
  • deciduous forest
  • n-fertilization
  • soil carbon

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