Fire, hurricane and carbon dioxide: effects on net primary production of a subtropical woodland
Article first published online: 22 JUL 2013
© 2013 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2013 New Phytologist Trust
Volume 200, Issue 3, pages 767–777, November 2013
How to Cite
Hungate, B. A., Day, F. P., Dijkstra, P., Duval, B. D., Hinkle, C. R., Langley, J. A., Megonigal, J. P., Stiling, P., Johnson, D. W. and Drake, B. G. (2013), Fire, hurricane and carbon dioxide: effects on net primary production of a subtropical woodland. New Phytologist, 200: 767–777. doi: 10.1111/nph.12409
- Issue published online: 11 OCT 2013
- Article first published online: 22 JUL 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 16 JUN 2013
- Manuscript Received: 16 APR 2013
- US Department of Energy. Grant Numbers: DE-FG-02-95ER61993, 95-59, MPOOO02
- National Science Foundation. Grant Numbers: DEB 0092642, 0445324
- elevated CO2;
- global environmental change;
- net primary productivity (NPP);
- nitrogen cycling;
- oak woodland
- Disturbance affects most terrestrial ecosystems and has the potential to shape their responses to chronic environmental change.
- Scrub-oak vegetation regenerating from fire disturbance in subtropical Florida was exposed to experimentally elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration (+350 μl l−1) using open-top chambers for 11 yr, punctuated by hurricane disturbance in year 8. Here, we report the effects of elevated CO2 on aboveground and belowground net primary productivity (NPP) and nitrogen (N) cycling during this experiment.
- The stimulation of NPP and N uptake by elevated CO2 peaked within 2 yr after disturbance by fire and hurricane, when soil nutrient availability was high. The stimulation subsequently declined and disappeared, coincident with low soil nutrient availability and with a CO2-induced reduction in the N concentration of oak stems.
- These findings show that strong growth responses to elevated CO2 can be transient, are consistent with a progressively limited response to elevated CO2 interrupted by disturbance, and illustrate the importance of biogeochemical responses to extreme events in modulating ecosystem responses to global environmental change.