Mycorrhizal association as a primary control of the CO₂ fertilization effect.

César Terrer, Sara Vicca, Bruce A Hungate, Richard P Phillips, I Colin Prentice, C. Le Quéré, R. Moriarty, R. M. Andrew, J. G. Canadell, S. Sitch, J. I. Korsbakken, P. Friedlingstein, G. P. Peters, R. J. Andres, T. A. Boden, R. A. Houghton, J. I. House, R. F. Keeling, P. Tans, A. ArnethD. C. E. Bakker, L. Barbero, L. Bopp, J. Chang, F. Chevallier, L. P. Chini, P. Ciais, M. Fader, R. A. Feely, T. Gkritzalis, I. Harris, J. Hauck, T. Ilyina, A. K. Jain, E. Kato, V. Kitidis, K. Klein Goldewijk, C. Koven, P. Landschützer, S. K. Lauvset, N. Lefèvre, A. Lenton, I. D. Lima, N. Metzl, F. Millero, D. R. Munro, A. Murata, H. Yang, M. Ha, T. Lee

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

314 Citations (Scopus)


Plants buffer increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations through enhanced growth, but the question whether nitrogen availability constrains the magnitude of this ecosystem service remains unresolved. Synthesizing experiments from around the world, we show that CO2 fertilization is best explained by a simple interaction between nitrogen availability and mycorrhizal association. Plant species that associate with ectomycorrhizal fungi show a strong biomass increase (30 ± 3%, P <0.001) in response to elevated CO2 regardless of nitrogen availability, whereas low nitrogen availability limits CO2 fertilization (0 ± 5%, P = 0.946) in plants that associate with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. The incorporation of mycorrhizae in global carbon cycle models is feasible, and crucial if we are to accurately project ecosystem responses and feedbacks to climate change.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationScience (New York, N.Y.)
PublisherAmerican Association for the Advancement of Science
Number of pages3
ISBN (Print)0196-2892 VO - 42
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jul 1

Publication series

NameScience (New York, N.Y.)


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