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The Response of Annuals in Competitive Neighborhoods: Effects of Elevated CO2

F. A. Bazzaz and K. Garbutt
Ecology
Vol. 69, No. 4 (Aug., 1988), pp. 937-946
Published by: Wiley
DOI: 10.2307/1941249
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1941249
Page Count: 10
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The Response of Annuals in Competitive Neighborhoods: Effects of Elevated CO2
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Abstract

Four members of an annual community were used to investigate the effects of changing neighborhood complexity and increased CO"2 concentration on competitive outcome. Plants were grown in monoculture and in all possible combinations of two, three, and four species in CO"2-controlled growth chambers at CO"2 concentrations of 350, 500, and 700 @mL/L with ample moisture and high light. Species responded differently to enhanced CO"2 level. Some species (e.g., Abutilon theophrasti) had increased biomass with increasing CO"2, while others (e.g., Amaranthus retroflexus) had decreased biomass with increasing CO"2 concentration. In mixtures, species tended to interact strongly, and, in some cases, the interaction canceled out the effects of CO"2. Furthermore, there were cleared differences in species behavior in different competitive mixtures as assessed by total biomass and seed biomass, and by an index of response to neighbors. In general, competitive arrays that had C"3 species depressed the response of C"4 species, especially Amaranthus. Ambrosia artemisiifolia was the strongest competitor in this assemblage. Strong statistical interactions between CO"2 and the identity of the competing species in mixtures were found to be primarily due to the as yet unexplained response of plants with CO"2 at 500 @mL/L. The potential effects of CO"2 on community structure could be profound, particularly at the intermediate levels of CO"2 that are predicted to be reached during the first half of the next century.

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