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Elevated CO2 reduces sap flux in mature deciduous forest trees

Cech, Patrick G. and Pepin, Steeve and Körner, Christian. (2003) Elevated CO2 reduces sap flux in mature deciduous forest trees. Oecologia, Vol. 137, H. 2. pp. 258-268.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5249105

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Abstract

We enriched in CO2 the canopy of 14 broad-leaved trees in a species-rich, ca. 30-m-tall forest in NW Switzerland to test whether elevated CO2 reduces water use in mature forest trees. Measurements of sap flux density (J(S)) were made prior to CO2 enrichment (summer 2000) and throughout the first whole growing season of CO2 exposure (2001) using the constant heat-flow technique. The short-term responses of sap flux to brief (1.5-3 h) interruptions of CO2 enrichment were also examined. There were no significant a priori differences in morphological and physiological traits between trees which were later exposed to elevated CO2 (n=14) and trees later used as controls (n=19). Over the entire growing season, CO2 enrichment resulted in an average 10.7 control trees. Responses were most pronounced in Carpinus, Acer, Prunus and Tilia, smaller in Quercus and close to zero in Fagus trees. The J(S) of treated trees significantly increased by 7 exposure to ambient CO2 concentrations at noon. Hence, responses of the different species were, in the short term, similar in magnitude to those observed over the whole season (though opposite because of the reversed treatment). The reductions in mean J(S) of CO2-enriched trees were high (22 pressure deficit, VPD The reductions in mean of CO₂-enriched trees were high (22%) under conditions of low evaporative demand (vapour pressure deficit, VPD >5 hPa) and small (2%) when mean daily VPD was greater than 10 hPa. During a relatively dry period, the effect of elevated CO₂ on even appeared to be reversed. These results suggest that daily water savings by CO₂-enriched trees may have accumulated to a significantly improved water status by the time when control trees were short of soil moisture. Our data indicate that the magnitude of CO₂ effects on stand transpiration will depend on rainfall regimes and the relative abundance of the different species, being more pronounced under humid conditions and in stands dominated by species such as Carpinus and negligible in mono-specific Fagus forests.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Ehemalige Einheiten Umweltwissenschaften > Pflanzenökologie (Körner)
UniBasel Contributors:Körner, Christian
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Bibsysno:Link to catalogue
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0029-8549
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:22 Mar 2012 14:25
Deposited On:22 Mar 2012 13:43

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