iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Field experiments using CO2 enrichment: a comparison of two main methods

A Mauri   

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 3, Issue 4, Pages 109-112 (2010)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor0545-003
Published: Jul 15, 2010 - Copyright © 2010 SISEF

Review Papers

Collection/Special Issue: NFZ Summer School 2009 - Birmensdorf (Switzerland)
Long-term ecosystem research: understanding the present to shape the future
Guest Editors: Marcus Schaub (WSL, Switzerland)

The dramatic increase in global atmospheric carbon dioxide over the past century is hypothesized to have significant impacts on the earth system. To understand the effects of elevated CO2 on terrestrial ecosystems, two main methods have been used to simulate an increase of CO2 in a semi-controlled field setting: 1) Open Top Chambers (OTC); and 2) Free Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE). The OTC method has been applied to study the components of forest ecosystems at small scale by manipulating seedlings or isolated juvenile trees, but is not able to address ecosystem processes as a whole. For technical reasons, OTC cannot be used to consider scaling issues, interaction with the boundary layer, and competition among species. To address these issues FACE technology was developed. FACE enables longer-term studies in larger plots, and allows studies of plant processes such as leaf area and canopy development, canopy energy balance and canopy gas exchange. In this review, I synthesize results from literature, in particular from meta-analysis techniques applied either to OTC or FACE. The results are qualitatively similar: CO2 enrichment leads to reduced stomatal conductance and leaf nitrogen, and enhanced photosynthesis and production. However, photosynthesis and crop yield were lower in FACE experiments than OTC, while starch content was higher. These results provide support for ecosystem model simulations, and help fill the gap between individual plants, forest and regional ecosystem. Neither OTC nor FACE can provide a clear indication of the regional-scale feedbacks between atmosphere and vegetation that might be expected under elevated CO2. To address this issue, further research is needed.


Photosynthesis, Free-Air Carbon dioxide Enrichment FACE, Open top chamber, Carbon sequestration, Forest ecosystem

Authors’ address

A Mauri
Soil-Vegetation-Atmosphere Research Group Institute for Environmental Science and Technology, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Station 2, CH-1015 Lausanne (Switzerland)

Corresponding author


Mauri A (2010). Field experiments using CO2 enrichment: a comparison of two main methods. iForest 3: 109-112. - doi: 10.3832/ifor0545-003

Paper history

Received: May 25, 2010
Accepted: Jun 01, 2010

First online: Jul 15, 2010
Publication Date: Jul 15, 2010
Publication Time: 1.47 months

Breakdown by View Type

(Waiting for server response...)

Article Usage

Total Article Views: 30591
(from publication date up to now)

Breakdown by View Type
HTML Page Views: 24859
Abstract Page Views: 1344
PDF Downloads: 3665
Citation/Reference Downloads: 28
XML Downloads: 695

Web Metrics
Days since publication: 5088
Overall contacts: 30591
Avg. contacts per week: 42.09

Article Citations

Article citations are based on data periodically collected from the Clarivate Web of Science web site
(last update: Nov 2020)

Total number of cites (since 2010): 3
Average cites per year: 0.27


Publication Metrics

by Dimensions ©

Articles citing this article

List of the papers citing this article based on CrossRef Cited-by.

Ainsworth EA, Long SP (2004)
What have we learned from 15 years of free air CO2 enrichment (FACE)? A meta-analytic review of the responses of photosynthesis, canopy properties and plant production to rising CO2. New Phytologist 165: 351-372.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Allen LH, Baldocchi DJr, Bazzaz F, Burke K, Dahlman R, Denmead T, Hendrey G, McLeod A, Melillo J, Oechel W, Risser P, Rogers H, Rozema J, Wright R (1991)
Available technologies for field experimentation with elevated CO2 in global change research. In: “SCOPE 45 Ecosystem Experiments”, Chapter 15 (Mooney HA, Medina E, Schindler D, Schulze ED, Walker BH eds). Wiley, UK, pp. 296.
Arp WJ (1991)
Effects of source-sink relations on photosynthetic acclimation to CO2. Plant, Cell and Environment 14: 869-875.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Curtis PS, Wang X (1998)
A meta-analysis of elevated CO2 effects on woody plant mass, form, and physiology. Oecologia 113: 299-313.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Drake BG, Gonzà lez-Meler MA, Long SP (1997)
More efficient plants: a consequence of increased atmospheric CO2? Annual Review of Plant Physiology and Plant Molecular Biology 48: 609-639.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Hendrey GR, Miglietta F (2006)
FACE technology: Past, Present, and Future. In: “Managed Ecosystems and CO2” (Nösberger J, Long SP, Norby RJ, Stitt M, Hendrey GR, Blum M eds). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York, pp 15-43.
IPPC (2007a)
Fourth Assessment Report. Chapter 10. Global climate projections. 10.7 Long Term Climate Change and Commitment 10.7.1, Climate Change Commitment to Year 2300. Based on AOGCM, pp. 822.
IPPC (2007b)
Fourth Assessment Report. Summary for Policymakers.
Online | Gscholar
Karnosky DF (2003)
Impacts of elevated atmospheric CO2 on forest trees and forest ecosystems: knowledge gaps. Environmental International. 29: 161-169.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Körner C (2000)
Biosphere responses to CO2 enrichment. Ecological Applications 10 (6): 1590-1619.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Lauber W, Körner C (1997)
In situ stomatal responses to long term CO2 enrichment in calcareous grassland plants. Acta Oecologica 18: 221-229.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Leadley PW, Drake BG (1993)
Open top chambers for exposing plant canopies to elevated CO2, concentration and for measuring net gas exchange. Vegetatio 104/105: 3-15.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Leadley PW, Niklaus P, Stocker R, Körner C (1997)
Screen-aided CO2 control (SACC): middle ground between FACE and open-top chambers. Acta Ecologica 18 (3): 207-219.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Leakey ADB, Ainsworth EA, Bernacchi CJ, Rogers A, Long SP, Ort DR (2009)
Elevated CO2 effects on plant carbon, nitrogen, and water relations: six important lessons from FACE. Journal of Experimental Botany 60: 2859-2876.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Ledford H (2008)
Forestry carbon dioxide projects to close down. Nature 456 (7220): 289.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Lee HSJ, Jarvis PG (1996)
The effects of tree maturity on some responses to elevated CO2 in Sitka Spruce (Picea sitchensis Bong. Carr.). In: “Carbon Dioxide and Terrestrial Ecosystems” (Koch GW, Mooney HA eds). Academic Press Inc., S. Diego, CA, USA, pp 53-70.
Long SP, Ainsworth EA, Rogers A, Ort DR (2004)
Rising atmospheric carbon dioxide; plants FACE the future. Annual Review Plant Biology 55:591-628.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Niklaus PA, Spinnler D, Körner C (1998)
Soil moisture dynamics of calcareous grassland under elevated CO2. Oecologia 117: 177-186.
CrossRef | Gscholar
NOAA/ESRL (2010)
Use of NOAA/ESRL data (Conway T ed). Earth System Research Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, US. Department of Commerce, Boulder, Colorado, USA.
Online | Gscholar
Norby RJ, Wullschleger SD, Gunderson CA, Johnson DW, Ceulemans R (1999)
Tree responses to rising CO2 in field experiments: implications for the future forest. Plant, Cell and Environment 22: 683-714.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Norby RJ, Wullschleger SD, Hanson PJ, Gunderson CA, Tschaplinski TJ, Jastrow JD (2006)
CO2 enrichment of a deciduous forest: the Oak Ridge FACE experiment. In: “Managed ecosystems and CO2: case studies, processes, and perspectives” (Nösberger J, Long SP, Norby RJ, Stitt M, Hendrey GR, Blum H eds). Ecological Studies, Springer, Berlin, vol. 187, pp. 231-251.
Sarmiento JL, Wofsy SC (1999)
A U.S. carbon cycle science plan: a report of the carbon and climate working group. U.S.Global Change Research Program, Washington, DC, USA, pp. 69.
Schulze ED, Scholes RJ, Ehleringer JR, Hunt LA, Canadell J, Chaprin FS, Steffen WL (1999)
The study of ecosystems in the context of global change. The terrestrial biosphere and global change. International geosphere-biosphere programme book series 4, pp 27.
Uprety DC, Garg SC, Bisht BS, Maini HK, Dwivedi N, Paswan G, Raj A, Saxena DC (2006)
Carbon dioxide enrichment technologies for crop response studies. Journal of Scientific and Industrial Research 65 (11): 859-866.

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. More info