Southern Forest Ecosystems in a Changing Chemical and Physical Environment

  • Robert A. Mickler
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 128)


For much of Earth’s history, terrestrial vegetation evolved in a carbon dioxide (CO2) atmosphere that saturated photosynthesis and enhanced the growth of C3 plants. Estimates of atmospheric CO2 for 420 millions years ago suggest that the first terrestrial plants grew in CO2 concentrations 16-times higher than those present today (Yapp and Poths, 1992). During the period from 50 to 100 million years ago, atmospheric CO2 concentrations have been estimated at 1,000 to 3,000 μLL-1 (Budyko et al., 1987, Ehleringer et al., 1991). In contrast, during the last 160,000 years atmospheric CO2 concentrations have been atypically low, ranging from 190 to 280 μLL-1 as measured from air trapped in the Vostok ice cores (Barnola et al., 1994), until stabilizing at about 280 μLL-1 CO2 after the last glacial period. The atmospheric CO2 record obtained from the Siple Station ice core indicates that the pre-industrial atmospheric CO2 concentration ca. 1750 was 280 μLL-1 and increased to 345 μLL-d I in 1984, from anthropogenic sources (Neftel et. al., 1994). Beginning in the nineteenth century, CO2 concentration began to rise in a logarithmic manner to the 1992 annual mean value of 356 μLL-1 I. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Monitoring and Diagnostic Laboratory (CDML) flask data from Mauna Loa documents an increase in annual COd concentration from 325.3 μLL-1 in 1970 to 356.4 μLL-1 in 1992. NOANCMDL flask data report an annual increase of 1.4 1 μLL-1 for the Mauna Loa site and an annual global increase of 1.43 μLL-1 for all sampling sites over the 22-year period (Conway et al., 1994).


Plant Cell Environ Stomatal Density Elevated Carbon Dioxide Agric Ecosyst Environ Larrea Divaricata 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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