Atmospheric CO2 enrichment facilitates cation release from soil.
Atmospheric CO(2) enrichment generally stimulates plant photosynthesis and nutrient uptake, modifying the local and global cycling of bioactive elements. Although nutrient cations affect the long-term productivity and carbon balance of terrestrial ecosystems, little is known about the effect of CO(2) enrichment on cation availability in soil. In this study, we present evidence for a novel mechanism of CO(2)-enhancement of cation release from soil in rice agricultural systems. Elevated CO(2) increased organic C allocation belowground and net H(+) excretion from roots, and stimulated root and microbial respiration, reducing soil redox potential and increasing Fe(2+) and Mn(2+) in soil solutions. Increased H(+), Fe(2+), and Mn(2+) promoted Ca(2+) and Mg(2+) release from soil cation exchange sites. These results indicate that over the short term, elevated CO(2) may stimulate cation release from soil and enhance plant growth. Over the long-term, however, CO(2)-induced cation release may facilitate cation losses and soil acidification, negatively feeding back to the productivity of terrestrial ecosystems.
Cheng, L; Zhu, J; Chen, G; Zheng, X; Oh, N-H; Rufty, TW; Richter, DD; Hu, S
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