Effects of atmospheric CO2 concentration, irradiance, and soil nitrogen availability on leaf photosynthetic traits of Polygonum sachalinense around natural CO2 springs in northern Japan

Noriyuki Osada, Yusuke Onoda, Kouki Hikosaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Long-term exposure to elevated CO2 concentration will affect the traits of wild plants in association with other environmental factors. We investigated multiple effects of atmospheric CO2 concentration, irradiance, and soil N availability on the leaf photosynthetic traits of a herbaceous species, Polygonum sachalinense, growing around natural CO2 springs in northern Japan. Atmospheric CO2 concentration and its interaction with irradiance and soil N availability affected several leaf traits. Leaf mass per unit area increased and N per mass decreased with increasing CO2 and irradiance. Leaf N per area increased with increasing soil N availability at higher CO2 concentrations. The photosynthetic rate under growth CO2 conditions increased with increasing irradiance and CO2, and with increasing soil N at higher CO2 concentrations. The maximal velocity of ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylation (Vcmax) was affected by the interaction of CO2 and soil N, suggesting that down-regulation of photosynthesis at elevated CO2 was more evident at lower soil N availability. The ratio of the maximum rate of electron transport to Vcmax (Jmax/Vcmax) increased with increasing CO2, suggesting that the plants used N efficiently for photosynthesis at high CO2 concentrations by changes in N partitioning. To what extent elevated CO2 influenced plant traits depended on other environmental factors. As wild plants are subject to a wide range of light and nutrient availability, our results highlight the importance of these environmental factors when the effects of elevated CO2 on plants are evaluated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-52
Number of pages12
JournalOecologia
Volume164
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Keywords

  • Leaf photosynthesis
  • Light availability
  • Natural CO springs
  • Nitrogen partitioning
  • Soil nitrogen availability

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