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Elevated carbon dioxide changes soil microbe mix below plants
Date:12/19/2007

il samples. But elevated CO2 samples showed significant changes in the composition of these communities, including:

  • an increase in heterotrophic decomposers - microbes that rely on an external food source and break down organic matter to recycle carbon and nitrogen

  • an increase in ectomycorrhizal fungi - which gain nutrients by living in association with plant roots and help to provide the plants with essential minerals

  • a decrease in fungi that commonly cause disease in plants - perhaps because increased plant growth stimulated by CO2 makes the plants less hospitable/susceptible to the fungi.

  • a significant decrease in nitrate-reducers of the domain bacteria and archaea potentially implicated in ammonium oxidation.

The increased plant growth associated with elevated CO2 environments has often been observed to be temporary because of the progressive depletion of the element nitrogen from the soil. Such a limitation has not yet been observed at the Rhinelander FACE site.

"Overall, the changes we observed support previously reported increases in biomass turnover rates and sustained availability and translocation of the essential nutrients required for increased plant growth under elevated CO2," van der Lelie said.


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Contact: Karen McNulty Walsh
kmcnulty@bnl.gov
631-344-8350
DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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