Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2020, Vol. 44 ›› Issue (4): 340-349.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2019.0223

Special Issue: 全球变化与生态系统 生态学研究的技术和方法

• Reviews • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Free-Air Concentration Enrichment (FACE) techniques, experimental approach and its application in the field of global change ecology: a review

FENG Zhao-Zhong1,*(),XU Yan-Sen2,SHANG Bo1   

  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:2019-08-21 Accepted:2019-10-23 Online:2020-04-20 Published:2020-03-26
  • Contact: FENG Zhao-Zhong
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41771034);Key Research Program of Frontier Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences(QYZDB-SSW-DQC019)


Massive fossil fuel burning and the rapid urbanization have caused significant increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) and ozone (O3) concentrations. The increased gas concentration has significant impacts on the structure and function of terrestrial plants and ecosystems. Rising CO2 concentration increased the plant growth and productivity, while elevated O3 decreased grain yield and carbon sequestration capacity. The Free-Air Concentration Enrichment (FACE) is one kind of facility closest to the natural conditions for simulating effects of rising atmospheric gas concentration on ecosystems. FACE has been widely used in various ecosystems and provides key basis to understand the ecological progress in response to global change and parameters for risk assessment in terrestrial ecosystem models. In this paper, CO2/O3-FACE facility around world and their technology are reviewed. The advantages and disadvantages of the design of each FACE in different terrestrial ecosystems were discussed. The current status of global FACE facility and progress in research achievements are also introduced. Furthermore, the problems in running current FACE and the frontiers of scientific questions are also highlighted.

Key words: Free-Air Concentration Enrichment (FACE), carbon dioxide (CO2), ozone (O3), terrestrial ecosystem, agricultural ecosystem