Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The influence of increased atmospheric CO2 concentration on European trees

12.05.2015

Water vapor- and CO2 budgets of woods

Increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations have already caused large-scale physiological responses of European forests. In particular, the efficiency of water-use of trees, which is coupled to the uptake of CO2 during photosynthesis of leaves and needles has changed significantly. According to the study of a large, interdisciplinary team of researchers, European broadleaf and coniferous trees have increased their water-use efficiency since the beginning of the 20th century by 14% and 22%, respectively.


Tops of broadleaf trees (Photo: I. Heinrich, GFZ)


Typical annual ring pattern of Juniperus excelsa, with widely varying and sometimes very narrow growth ring (Photo: I. Heinrich, GFZ)

During photosynthesis trees take up carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air. In return they loose water vapor (H2O) through tiny pores of their leaves or needles, so-called stomata.

This gas exchange between trees and the atmosphere is regulated through the opening widths (aperture) of their stomata. Wider apertures of the stomata allow the uptake of higher numbers of CO2 molecules, but promote an increased loss of water vapor (transpiration) into the atmosphere. The opposite holds for narrowed stomatal apertures.

“Assuming that the trees demand for CO2 does not change, they can reduce the aperture of the stomates of their leaves and needles under increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations.

This should lower the rates of transpiration and minimize the tree’s water loss”, says Gerhard Helle at the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, co-author of the study. “Nevertheless, a 5% increase in European forest transpiration was calculated over the twentieth century. This can likely be attributed to a lengthened growing season, increased transpiration due to a warmer environment, and an enhanced leaf area.”

The results are important for better estimates of the impact of forests on climate, improved model scenarios of future climate development and more reliable assessment of the global water cycle.

Furthermore, ecological consequences might evolve because of the significantly different responses to increased atmospheric CO2 of broadleaf and needleleafed species.

The data set utilized in this study has been established from a tree-ring based network (ISONET) funded by the EU that aims at the analysis of carbon isotope ratios (13C/12C). ISONET was initiated and coordinated by GFZ-scientists Gerhard H. Schleser (presently also FZ-Jülich) and Gerhard Helle.

D. C. Frank et al.,: „Water-use effciency and transpiration across European forests during the Anthropocene”, NATURE CLIMATE CHANGE, VOL. 5, MAY 2015, DOI: 10.1038/NCLIMATE2614

Franz Ossing | Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam - Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ
Further information:
http://www.gfz-potsdam.de/

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht NASA finds newly formed tropical storm lan over open waters
17.10.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht The melting ice makes the sea around Greenland less saline
16.10.2017 | Aarhus University

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Osaka university researchers make the slipperiest surfaces adhesive

18.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

Space radiation won't stop NASA's human exploration

18.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Los Alamos researchers and supercomputers help interpret the latest LIGO findings

18.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>