University Of Tasmania
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Warming and free-air CO2 enrichment alter demographics in four co-occurring grassland species

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posted on 2023-05-16, 21:07 authored by Williams, AL, Karen WillsKaren Wills, Janes, J, Vanderschoor, JK, Newton, PCD, Mark HovendenMark Hovenden
• Species differ in their responses to global changes such as rising CO 2 and temperature, meaning that global changes are likely to change the structure of plant communities. Such alterations in community composition must be underlain by changes in the population dynamics of component species. • Here, the impact of elevated CO 2 (550 μmol mol -1) and warming (+2°C) on the population growth of four plant species important in Australian temperate grasslands is reported. Data collected from the Tasmanian free-air CO 2 enrichment (TasFACE) experiment between 2003 and 2006 were analysed using population matrix models. • Population growth of Themeda triandra, a perennial C 4 grass, was largely unaffected by either factor but population growth of Austrodanthonia caespitosa, a perennial C 3 grass, was reduced substantially in elevated CO 2 plots. Warming and elevated CO 2 had antagonistic effects on population growth of two invasive weeds, Hypochaeris radicata and Leontodon taraxacoides, with warming causing population decline. Analysis of life cycle stages showed that seed production, seedling emergence and establishment were important factors in the responses of the species to global changes. • These results show that the demographic approach is very useful in understanding the variable responses of plants to global changes and in elucidating the life cycle stages that are most responsive. © The Authors (2007).


Publication title

New Phytologist








School of Natural Sciences


Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd

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Pasture, browse and fodder crops not elsewhere classified

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