Stimulation of grassland nitrogen cycling under carbon dioxide enrichment

B. A. Hungate, F. S. Chapin, H. Zhong, E. A. Holland, C. B. Field

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

147 Scopus citations


Nitrogen (N) limits plant growth in many terrestrial ecosystems, potentially constraining terrestrial ecosystem response to elevated CO2. In this study, elevated CO2 stimulated gross N mineralization and plant N uptake in two annual grasslands. In contrast to other studies that have invoked increased C input to soil as the mechanism altering soil N cycling in response to elevated CO2, increased soil moisture, due to decreased plant transpiration in elevated CO2, best explains the changes we observed. This study suggests that atmospheric CO2 concentration may influence ecosystem biogeochemistry through plant control of soil moisture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-153
Number of pages5
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 1 1996


  • Annual grasslands
  • Elevated CO
  • N mineralization
  • Soil moisture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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