Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 3, 2691-2706, 2003
www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/3/2691/2003/
doi:10.5194/acpd-3-2691-2003
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
Soil-atmosphere exchange of CH4, CO2, NOx, and N2O in the Colorado Shortgrass Steppe following five years of elevated CO2 and N fertilization
A. R. Mosier1, P. Pendall2, and J. A. Morgan1
1USDA/ARS, Fort Collins, CO, USA
2Department of Botany, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY, USA

Abstract. An open-top-chamber (OTC) CO2 enrichment study was conducted in the Colorado shortgrass steppe to determine the effect of elevated CO2 (~720 mmol mol−1) on plant production, photosynthesis, and water use of this mixed C3/C4 plant community, soil nitrogen (N) and carbon (C) cycling and the impact of changes induced by \CO2 on trace gas exchange. Weekly measurements of CO2, CH4, NOx and N2O fluxes within control (unchambered), ambient CO2 and elevated CO2 OTCs and soil water and temperature were measured at each flux measurement time from early April 1997, year round, through October 2001. Even though both aboveground plant biomass increased under elevated CO2 and soil moisture content was typically higher than under ambient CO2 conditions, none of the trace gas fluxes were significantly altered by CO2 enrichment over the 55 month period of observation. During early summer of 2002, following the removal of the open-top-chambers from the CO2 enrichment sites in October, we conducted a short term study to determine if soil microbial processes were altered in soils that had been exposed to double ambient CO2 concentrations during the growing season for the past five years. Microplots were established within each experimental site and 10 mm of water or 10 mm of water containing the equivalent of 10 g m−2 of ammonium nitrate-N was applied to the soil surface. Fluxes of CO2, CH4, NOx and N2O fluxes within control (unchambered), ambient CO2 and elevated CO2 OTCs soils at one to three day intervals for the next month. With water addition alone, CO2 and NO emission did not differ between ambient and elevated CO2 soils, while CH4 uptake rates were higher and N2O fluxes lower in elevated CO2 soils. Adding water and mineral N resulted in increased CO2 emissions, increased CH4 uptake and decreased NO emissions in elevated CO2 soils. The N addition study confirmed previous observations that soil respiration is enhanced under elevated CO2 and N immobilization is increased, thereby decreasing NO emission.

Citation: Mosier, A. R., Pendall, P., and Morgan, J. A.: Soil-atmosphere exchange of CH4, CO2, NOx, and N2O in the Colorado Shortgrass Steppe following five years of elevated CO2 and N fertilization, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 3, 2691-2706, doi:10.5194/acpd-3-2691-2003, 2003.
 
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