Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems

, Volume 74, Issue 2, pp 175–189 | Cite as

Increase of N2O Fluxes in Agricultural Peat and Sandy Soil under Elevated CO2 Concentration: Concomitant Changes in Soil Moisture, Groundwater Table and Biomass Production of Phleum pratense

  • Riitta Kettunen
  • Sanna Saarnio
  • Pertti J. Martikainen
  • Jouko Silvola


The effects of elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration on soil moisture, N2O fluxes, and biomass production of Phleum pratense were studied in the laboratory. Farmed peat and sandy soil mesocosms sown with P. pratense were fertilized with a commercial fertilizer. In peat soil 10 g N m−2 of commercial fertilizer were added and in sandy soil 15 g N m−2. In both experiments, soil moisture was regulated with deionized water; 18 mesocosms were tended to keep equally moist, and the other 18 were watered with equal amounts of water. Nine mesocosms from both watering treatments were grown under ambient (360 μmol mol−1) CO2 concentration and the remaining nine under doubled (720 μmol mol−1) CO2. N2O efflux was monitored using a closed chamber technique and a gas chromatograph. The elevated supply of CO2 increased production of above- and belowground biomass, soil moisture and N2O fluxes, but decreased the total N content in the aboveground biomass, especially for the sandy soil. In similar water levels, N2O efflux from the sandy soil was the same magnitude as that from the peat soil. In addition to moisture, N availability was the main limiting factor for N2O production, but C availability also seemed to regulate the denitrification activity. In addition to an increase in C availability the increase in the N2O efflux under the raised CO2 concentration also required a simultaneous increase in soil moisture.


Atmospheric CO2 concentration Carbon Nitrogen Root production Water use efficiency 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Riitta Kettunen
    • 1
  • Sanna Saarnio
    • 1
  • Pertti J. Martikainen
    • 2
  • Jouko Silvola
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of JoensuuJoensuuFinland
  2. 2.Department of Environmental SciencesUniversity of KuopioKuopioFinland

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