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Effects of Elevated CO2, Water and Nutrients on Picea sitchensis (Bong.) Carr. Seedlings

John Townend
The New Phytologist
Vol. 130, No. 2 (Jun., 1995), pp. 193-206
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the New Phytologist Trust
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2558831
Page Count: 14
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Effects of Elevated CO2, Water and Nutrients on Picea sitchensis (Bong.) Carr. Seedlings
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Abstract

Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis (Bong.) Carr.) seedlings were grown from seed for one year in naturally lit growth chambers with either ambient or ambient +250 ppm concentrations of CO2. In the following year the plants were grown in the same CO2 treatments for the whole growing season at two concentrations of nutrients and were either well-watered or subjected to a long-term, gradually increasing drought. Elevated CO2 increased significantly growth in all treatments except the well-watered, unfertilized treatment. The relative increases in end-of-year biomass in the elevated CO2 treatment compared with the ambient treatment were: well-watered, fertilized+52%, well-watered, unfertilized+19%, droughted, fertilized+44%, and droughted, unfertilized+49%. Growth analysis revealed that treatment effects on both unit leaf rates and leaf area duration were important in determining the final masses of the plants. Plants growing in elevated CO2 had increased relative growth rates in the first half of the growing season but only slightly increased or even slightly decreased relative growth rates in the later part of the growing season in all water x nutrient treatments. Overall there was a significant CO2 x water x nutrient interaction on end-of-year biomass. A combination of small nutrient concentration and adequate water supply led to the smallest growth response to elevated CO2.

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