eCite Digital Repository

Warming has a larger and more persistent effect than elevated CO2 on growing season soil nitrogen availability in a species-rich grassland


Hovenden, MJ and Newton, PCD and Osanai, Y, Warming has a larger and more persistent effect than elevated CO2 on growing season soil nitrogen availability in a species-rich grassland, Plant and Soil, 421, (1-2) pp. 417-428. ISSN 0032-079X (2017) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 Springer International Publishing AG

DOI: doi:10.1007/s11104-017-3474-8


Background and aims: The terrestrial biosphere’s ability to capture carbon is dependent upon soil nitrogen (N) availability, which might reduce as CO2 increases, but global warming has the potential to offset CO2 effects. Here we examine the interactive impact of elevated CO2 (eCO2) and warming on soil N availability and transformations in a low-fertility native grassland in Tasmania, Australia.

Methods: Using ion exchange membranes, we examined soil nitrogen availability during the growing season from 2004 to 2010 in the TasFACE experiment. We also estimated soil N transformation rates using laboratory incubations.

Results: Soil N availability varied strongly over time but was more than doubled by experimental warming of 2°C, an impact that was consistent from the fifth year of the experiment to its conclusion. Elevated CO2 reduced soil N availability by ∼28%, although this varied strongly over time. Treatment effects on potential N mineralisation also varied strongly from year to year but tended to be reduced by eCO2 and increased by warming.

Conclusions: These results suggest that warming should increase soil N availability more strongly than it is suppressed by eCO2 in low fertility grasslands such as this, stimulating terrestrial carbon sinks by preventing eCO2-induced nitrogen limitation of primary productivity.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:biogeochemistry, FACE, nutrient availability, nitrate, temperate grassland, warming experiment
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Climate change impacts and adaptation
Research Field:Ecological impacts of climate change and ecological adaptation
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Understanding climate change
Objective Field:Global effects of climate change (excl. Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica and the South Pacific) (excl. social impacts)
UTAS Author:Hovenden, MJ (Professor Mark Hovenden)
UTAS Author:Osanai, Y (Ms Yui Osanai)
ID Code:125823
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:8
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2018-05-08
Last Modified:2018-07-31

Repository Staff Only: item control page