Presentation Title

No effect of elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide on growth response or competition between native and exotic California grasses in a growth chamber study

Faculty Mentor

Darren R. Sandquist, Joel K. Abraham

Start Date

18-11-2017 2:15 PM

End Date

18-11-2017 3:15 PM

Location

BSC-Ursa Minor 74

Session

Poster 3

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

biological_agricultural_sciences

Abstract

Global levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) have increased, and are predicted to continue increasing, due to human activities. Although many studies have evaluated species specific responses to atmospheric CO2, not enough is known about how specific plant species interactions are projected to change, especially in the context of plant invasions. Certain traits of non-native plants, such as fast growth and preemption of resources, may lead to greater competitive advantages over existing native plants. Alternatively, increased atmospheric CO2 may minimize impacts of competition. In this study, we performed a growth chamber experiment to test the hypothesis that elevated atmospheric CO2 conditions increase the competitive ability of non-native California grasses. We grew two California native grasses, Stipa pulchra (purple needlegrass) and Festuca californica (California fescue), and two non-native grasses, Festuca arundinacea (tall fescue) and Lolium multiflorum (Italian rye grass) in monoculture or in competition with all other grasses, across two CO2 concentrations (ambient [~361 ppm] and elevated [~476 ppm]) in environmental growth chambers. We measured plant height weekly and final shoot dry biomass. At the concentrations used in the study, elevated CO2 levels did not increase the average biomass or plant height of tall fescue or Italian rye grass. Relative to the monoculture treatment, all species of grasses showed decreased plant height and dry biomass when under interspecific competition. Future studies will include better regulation of atmospheric CO2, as well as treatments to manipulate temperature and water availability. This suite of studies may help better predict impacts of climate on California grassland systems.

Keywords : California, ecology, carbon dioxide, CO2, grass, global warming, plant, competition

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Nov 18th, 2:15 PM Nov 18th, 3:15 PM

No effect of elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide on growth response or competition between native and exotic California grasses in a growth chamber study

BSC-Ursa Minor 74

Global levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) have increased, and are predicted to continue increasing, due to human activities. Although many studies have evaluated species specific responses to atmospheric CO2, not enough is known about how specific plant species interactions are projected to change, especially in the context of plant invasions. Certain traits of non-native plants, such as fast growth and preemption of resources, may lead to greater competitive advantages over existing native plants. Alternatively, increased atmospheric CO2 may minimize impacts of competition. In this study, we performed a growth chamber experiment to test the hypothesis that elevated atmospheric CO2 conditions increase the competitive ability of non-native California grasses. We grew two California native grasses, Stipa pulchra (purple needlegrass) and Festuca californica (California fescue), and two non-native grasses, Festuca arundinacea (tall fescue) and Lolium multiflorum (Italian rye grass) in monoculture or in competition with all other grasses, across two CO2 concentrations (ambient [~361 ppm] and elevated [~476 ppm]) in environmental growth chambers. We measured plant height weekly and final shoot dry biomass. At the concentrations used in the study, elevated CO2 levels did not increase the average biomass or plant height of tall fescue or Italian rye grass. Relative to the monoculture treatment, all species of grasses showed decreased plant height and dry biomass when under interspecific competition. Future studies will include better regulation of atmospheric CO2, as well as treatments to manipulate temperature and water availability. This suite of studies may help better predict impacts of climate on California grassland systems.

Keywords : California, ecology, carbon dioxide, CO2, grass, global warming, plant, competition