Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2020, Vol. 44 ›› Issue (5): 461-474.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2019.0125

Special Issue: 全球变化与生态系统

• Reviews • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Impacts of elevated carbon dioxide concentration on terrestrial ecosystems: problems and prospective

FENG Zhao-Zhong1,*(), LI Pin2, ZHANG Guo-You1, LI Zheng-Zhen2, PING Qin2, PENG Jin-Long2, LIU Shuo2   

  1. 1School of Applied Meteorology, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
    2State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Centre for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China
  • Received:2019-05-24 Accepted:2019-08-25 Online:2020-05-20 Published:2020-03-26
  • Contact: FENG Zhao-Zhong
  • Supported by:
    Key Research Program of Frontier Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences(QYZDB-SSW-DQC019)


Characterizing ecosystem responses to past, present and future changes in atmopsheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration is critical for understanding and predicting the consequences of global change over evolutionary and ecological timescales. Over the past two decades, CO2 studies have provided great insights into the effects of rising CO2 concentration on plant growth and productivity, carbon-nitrogen turnover, the formation of progressive nitrogen limitation (PNL) in ecosystems, and the interaction between elevated CO2 concentration and other envrionmental factors (O3 pollution, N deposition, warming and drought). However, scaling CO2 effects across wide spatial and temporal scales, especially at belowground part, has many uncertainties. Here we explore major research areas and hotspots of CO2 studies on plants and ecosystems from 1990 to 2018, and review the development of manipulated experiments in the field of elevated CO2 impacts. In detail, we discussed the states of art in five international frontiers research directions: crop yield and quality, carbon fixation, water use efficiency, ecosystem nitrogen use and soil microorganism. Finally, we identify several topics and research outlooks to facilitate further developments in the field of CO2 effects on ecosystems.

Key words: elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration, terrestrial ecosystem, carbon sequestration, nitrogen utilization, water use efficiency, soil microorganism