Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Higher Carbon Dioxide May Give Pine Trees A Competitive Edge

Date:
August 4, 2009
Source:
Duke University
Summary:
Pine trees grown for 12 years in air one-and-a-half times richer in carbon dioxide than today's levels produced twice as many seeds of at least as good a quality as those growing under normal conditions.

Loblolly trees growing under elevated carbon dioxide levels emitted from towers at Duke Forest's FACE site.
Credit: Chris Hildreth

Pine trees grown for 12 years in air one-and-a-half times richer in carbon dioxide than today's levels produced twice as many seeds of at least as good a quality as those growing under normal conditions, a Duke University-led research team reported Aug. 3 at a national ecology conference.

Carbon dioxide readings that high are expected everywhere by mid-century. The findings suggest some woody tree species could, in the future, out-compete grasses and other herbaceous plants that scientists had previously found can also produce more seeds under high-CO2, but of inferior quality.

"Even if both groups were producing twice as many seeds, if the trees are producing high-quality seeds and the herbaceous species aren't, then competitively you can get a shift," said Danielle Way, a Duke post-doctoral researcher.

Way is scheduled to present the results at a poster session on Aug. 3 during the Ecological Society of America's 2009 annual meeting in Albuquerque, N.M. She is also first author of a report on the study scheduled for publication in the research journal Global Change Biology.

Way and her co-researchers collected, counted and analyzed seeds produced at the Duke Free Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) site in Duke Forest, near the university's campus. There, growing parcels of loblolly pine trees have been receiving elevated amounts of CO2 around the clock since 1997 in a Department of Energy-funded project designed to simulate natural growing conditions.

Their analysis found the high-CO2 loblolly seeds were similar in nutrient content, germination and growth potential to seeds from trees growing under present-day CO2 concentrations. "If anything, they actually seem to be slightly better seeds rather than more seeds of poorer quality," Way said.

"The notion here is that if the trees are producing more high-quality seeds at high CO2 compared to grasses and herbs, then the trees may be at an advantage," added study participant Robert Jackson. Jackson is Way's advisor at Duke, where he is a biology professor, as well as professor of global environmental change at the university's Nicholas School of the Environment.

The ultimate competitive outcome will depend on how other trees comparatively respond to high-CO2, said James Clark, another Duke biology professor and Nicholas School professor of the environment who also participated in the study. "We don't know that yet, because we only have estimates for loblolly pines," Clark said.

Other study participants included Shannon LaDeau, now at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies at Millbrook, N.Y.; Heather McCarthy, now at the University of California at Irvine; Ram Oren, a Nicholas School ecology professor who directs the FACE experiments; and Adrien Finzi, an associate biology professor at Boston University.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Duke University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Duke University. "Higher Carbon Dioxide May Give Pine Trees A Competitive Edge." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090803173246.htm>.
Duke University. (2009, August 4). Higher Carbon Dioxide May Give Pine Trees A Competitive Edge. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090803173246.htm
Duke University. "Higher Carbon Dioxide May Give Pine Trees A Competitive Edge." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090803173246.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India

Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) A leopard caused panic in the city of Chandrapur on Monday when it sprung from the roof of a house and charged at rescue workers. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs

Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) Drake University hosts 35th annual Beautiful Bulldog Contest. (April 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
805-Pound Shark Caught Off The Coast Of Florida

805-Pound Shark Caught Off The Coast Of Florida

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) One Florida fisherman caught a 805-pound shark off the coast of Florida earlier this month. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Foods Are Getting Pricier

Breakfast Foods Are Getting Pricier

AP (Apr. 21, 2014) Breakfast is now being served with a side of sticker shock. The cost of morning staples like bacon, coffee and orange juice is on the rise because of global supply problems. (April 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins