Does Elevated CO2 Affect the Physiology and Growth of Quercus Mongolica under Different Nitrogen Conditions?
The response of Quercus mongolica, one of the major tree species in Northeast Asia and the most dominant deciduous tree in Korea, was studied in relation to elevated CO2 and the addition of nitrogen to soil in terms of its physiology and growth over two years. Plants were grown from seed at two CO2 conditions (ambient and 700 µL L-1) and with two levels of soil nitrogen supply (1.5 mM and 6.5 mM). Elevated CO2 was found to significantly enhance the photosynthesis rate and water use efficiency by 2.3-2.7 times and by 1.3-1.8 times, respectively. Over time within a growing season, there was a decreasing trend in the photosynthesis rate. However, the decrease was slower especially in two-year-old seedlings grown in elevated CO2 and high nitrogen conditions, suggesting that their physiological activity lasted relatively longer. Improved photosynthesis and water use efficiency as well as prolonged physiological activity under high CO2 condition resulted in an increase in biomass accumulation. That is, in elevated CO2, total biomass increased by 1.7 and 1.2 times, respectively, for one- and two-year-old seedlings with low nitrogen conditions, and by 1.8 and 2.6 times with high nitrogen conditions. This result indicates that the effect of CO2 on biomass is more marked in high nitrogen conditions. This, therefore, shows that the effect of CO2 is accelerated by the addition of nitrogen. With the increase in total biomass, the number of leaves and stem diameter increased significantly, and more biomass was allocated in roots, resulting in structural change. Overall, the elevated CO2 markedly stimulated the physiology and growth of Q. mongolica. This demonstrates that Q. mongolica is capable of exploiting an elevated CO2 environment. Therefore, it will remain a dominant species and continue to be a major CO2 sink in the future, even though other resources such as nitrogen can modify the CO2 effect.
Kwang Hwa Chung, Yong Hyeon Shin, Sue-Nie Park, Hyun Sook Cho, Soon-Ae Yoo, Byung Joo Min, Hyo-Suk Lim and Kyung Hwa Yoo
O. Hyun Kyung and Y. Choung, "Does Elevated CO2 Affect the Physiology and Growth of Quercus Mongolica under Different Nitrogen Conditions?", Key Engineering Materials, Vols. 277-279, pp. 528-535, 2005