Increased Litter Build Up and Soil Organic Matter Stabilization in a Poplar Plantation After 6 Years of atmospheric CO2 Enrichment (FACE): Final Results of POP-EuroFace Compared to Other Forest FACE Experiments

M.R. Hoosbeek, G. Scarascia-Mugnozza

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56 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Free air CO2 enrichment (FACE) experiments in aggrading temperate forests and plantations have been initiated to test whether temperate forest ecosystems act as sinks for anthropogenic emissions of CO2. These FACE experiments have demonstrated increases in net primary production and carbon (C) storage in forest vegetation due to increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations. However, the fate of this extra biomass in the forest floor or mineral soil is less clear. After 6 years of FACE treatment in a short-rotation poplar plantation, we observed an additional sink of 32 g C m¿2 y¿1 in the forest floor. Mineral soil C content increased equally under ambient and increased CO2 treatment during the 6-year experiment. However, during the first half of the experiment the increase in soil C was suppressed under FACE due to a priming effect, that is, the additional labile C increased the mineralization of older SOM, whereas during the second half of the experiment the increase in soil C was larger under FACE. An additional sink of 54 g C m¿2 y¿1 in the top 10 cm of the mineral soil was created under FACE during the second half of the experiment. Although, this FACE effect was not significant due to a combination of soil spatial variability and the low number of replicates that are inherent to the present generation of forest stand FACE experiments. Physical fractionation by wet sieving revealed an increase in the C and nitrogen (N) content of macro-aggregates due to FACE. Further fractionation by density showed that FACE increased C and N contents of the light iPOM and mineral associated intra-macro-aggregate fractions. Isolation of micro-aggregates from macro-aggregates and subsequent fractionation by density revealed that FACE increased C and N contents of the light iPOM, C content of the fine iPOM and C and N contents of the mineral associated intra-micro-aggregate fractions. From this we infer that the amount of stabilized C and N increased under FACE treatment. We compared our data with published results of other forest FACE experiments and infer that the type of vegetation and soil base saturation, as a proxy for bioturbation, are important factors related to the size of the additional C sinks of the forest floor¿soil system under FACE.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-239
JournalEcosystems
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Keywords

  • nitrogen-use efficiency
  • elevated co2
  • carbon storage
  • mineral soil
  • terrestrial ecosystems
  • biomass production
  • cultivated soils
  • tropospheric o-3
  • deciduous forest
  • n-fertilization

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