Increased nitrogen use efficiency of a short-rotation poplar plantation is increased under elevated CO2

C. Calfapietra, P. de Angelis, B. Gielen, M. Lukac, M.C. Moscatelli, G. Avino, A. Lagomarsino, A. Polle, R. Ceulemans, G.S. Mugnozza, M.R. Hoosbeek, M.F. Cotrufo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We estimated nitrogen (N) use by trees of three poplar species exposed for 3 years to free air CO2 enrichment (FACE) and determined whether the CO2 treatment affected the future N availability of the plantation. Trees were harvested at the end of the first 3-year rotation and N concentration and content of woody tissues determined. Nitrogen uptake of fine roots and litter was measured throughout the first crop rotation. The results were related to previously published variations in soil N content during the same period. We estimated retranslocation from green leaves and processes determining N mobilization and immobilization, such as mineralization and nitrification, and N immobilization in litter and microbial biomass. In all species, elevated CO2 concentration ([CO2]) significantly increased nitrogen-use efficiency (NUE; net primary productivity per unit of annual N uptake), decreased N concentration in most plant tissues, but did not significantly change cumulative N uptake by trees over the rotation. Total soil N was depleted more in elevated [CO2] than in ambient [CO2], although not significantly for all soil layers. The effect of elevated [CO2] was usually similar for all species, although differences among species were sometimes significant. During the first 3-year rotation, productivity of the plantation remained high in the elevated [CO2] treatment. However, we observed a potential reduction in N availability in response to elevated [CO2].
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1153-1163
JournalTree Physiology
Volume27
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Keywords

  • leaf-litter production
  • atmospheric co2
  • populus-tremuloides
  • tropospheric o-3
  • trembling aspen
  • carbon-dioxide
  • paper birch
  • chemical-composition
  • enrichment popface
  • biomass production

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