Water Science and Engineering 2018, 11(1) 39-45 DOI:   https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wse.2017.05.005  ISSN: 1674-2370 CN: 32-1785/TV

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Elevated CO2 concentration
Invasive species
Plant growth
Climate change
Inorganic nitrogen
Nitrogen cycling

Effects of elevated atmospheric CO2 and nitrogen fertilization on nitrogen cycling in experimental riparian wetlands

Jun Liu a,b,*, Gloria Appiah-Sefah c, Theresa Oteng Apreku c

a College of Materials Science and Technology, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing 210037, China b Nanjing Technical Vocational College, Nanjing 210019, China c Key Laboratory of Integrated Regulation and Resource Development on Shallow Lakes of Ministry of Education, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China


Studies on the relationship between plant nitrogen content and soil nitrogen reduction under elevated CO2 conditions and with different nitrogen additions in wetland ecosystems are lacking. This study was meant to assess the effects of elevated CO2 concentrations and inorganic nitrogen additions on soil and plant nitrogen cycling. A cultured riparian wetland, alligator weeds, and two duplicated open top chambers (OTCs) with ambient (380 μmol/mol) and elevated (700 μmol/mol) CO2 concentrations at low (4 mg/L) and high (6 mg/L) nitrogen fertilization levels were used. The total plant biomass increased by 30.77% and 31.37% at low and high nitrogen fertilization levels, respectively, under elevated CO2 conditions. Plant nitrogen content decreased by 6.54% and 8.86% at low and high nitrogen fertilization levels, respectively. The coefficient of determination (R2) of soil nitrogen contents ranged from 0.81 to 0.96. Under elevated CO2 conditions, plants utilized the assimilated inorganic nitrogen (from the soil) for growth and other internal physiological transformations, which might explain the reduction in plant nitrogen content. A reduction in soil dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) under elevated CO2 conditions might have also caused the reduction in plant nitrogen content. Reduced plant and soil nitrogen contents are to be expected due to the potential exhaustive use of inorganic nitrogen by soil microorganisms even before it can be made available to the soil and plants. The results from this study provide important information to help policy makers make informed decisions on sustainable management of wetlands. Larger-scale field work is recommended in future research.

Keywords Elevated CO2 concentration   Invasive species   Plant growth   Climate change   Inorganic nitrogen   Nitrogen cycling  
Received 2016-12-09 Revised 2017-05-03 Online: 2018-01-31 
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wse.2017.05.005

This work was supported by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (Grant No. 2009B17714) and the National Program on Key Basic Research Projects of China (Grant No. 2012CB719800).

Corresponding Authors: 496884531@qq.com (Jun Liu)
Email: 496884531@qq.com
About author: 496884531@qq.com (Jun Liu)


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