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      Ecosystem responses to elevated CO2 governed by plant-soil interactions and the cost of nitrogen acquisition

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          What have we learned from 15 years of free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE)? A meta-analytic review of the responses of photosynthesis, canopy properties and plant production to rising CO2.

          Free-air CO(2) enrichment (FACE) experiments allow study of the effects of elevated [CO(2)] on plants and ecosystems grown under natural conditions without enclosure. Data from 120 primary, peer-reviewed articles describing physiology and production in the 12 large-scale FACE experiments (475-600 ppm) were collected and summarized using meta-analytic techniques. The results confirm some results from previous chamber experiments: light-saturated carbon uptake, diurnal C assimilation, growth and above-ground production increased, while specific leaf area and stomatal conductance decreased in elevated [CO(2)]. There were differences in FACE. Trees were more responsive than herbaceous species to elevated [CO(2)]. Grain crop yields increased far less than anticipated from prior enclosure studies. The broad direction of change in photosynthesis and production in elevated [CO(2)] may be similar in FACE and enclosure studies, but there are major quantitative differences: trees were more responsive than other functional types; C(4) species showed little response; and the reduction in plant nitrogen was small and largely accounted for by decreased Rubisco. The results from this review may provide the most plausible estimates of how plants in their native environments and field-grown crops will respond to rising atmospheric [CO(2)]; but even with FACE there are limitations, which are also discussed.
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            Nitrogen limitation on land and in the sea: How can it occur?

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              The response of photosynthesis and stomatal conductance to rising [CO2]: mechanisms and environmental interactions.

              This review summarizes current understanding of the mechanisms that underlie the response of photosynthesis and stomatal conductance to elevated carbon dioxide concentration ([CO2]), and examines how downstream processes and environmental constraints modulate these two fundamental responses. The results from free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) experiments were summarized via meta-analysis to quantify the mean responses of stomatal and photosynthetic parameters to elevated [CO2]. Elevation of [CO2] in FACE experiments reduced stomatal conductance by 22%, yet, this reduction was not associated with a similar change in stomatal density. Elevated [CO2] stimulated light-saturated photosynthesis (Asat) in C3 plants grown in FACE by an average of 31%. However, the magnitude of the increase in Asat varied with functional group and environment. Functional groups with ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco)-limited photosynthesis at elevated [CO2] had greater potential for increases in Asat than those where photosynthesis became ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate (RubP)-limited at elevated [CO2]. Both nitrogen supply and sink capacity modulated the response of photosynthesis to elevated [CO2] through their impact on the acclimation of carboxylation capacity. Increased understanding of the molecular and biochemical mechanisms by which plants respond to elevated [CO2], and the feedback of environmental factors upon them, will improve our ability to predict ecosystem responses to rising [CO2] and increase our potential to adapt crops and managed ecosystems to future atmospheric [CO2].
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                New Phytologist
                New Phytol
                Wiley-Blackwell
                0028646X
                January 2018
                January 06 2018
                : 217
                : 2
                : 507-522
                10.1111/nph.14872
                © 2018

                http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/tdm_license_1.1

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