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Persson, Miia Liisa, 2005. Impacts on plant communities by elevated CO2 concentration. SLU, Dept. of Environmental Assessment, Uppsala. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Environmental Assessment



Our climate is in change. Carbon dioxide (CO2) levels this high, as the present CO2
concentration (≈370 ppm), have not been seen for the past 420 000 years. The cause for this is
a combination of industrial CO2 emissions, the burning of fossil fuels and emissions arising
from land use changes, such as deforestation and cultivation of virgin lands etc. An approach
to this problem could be storage of CO2. Deep saline aquifers have the greatest storage
potentials in the Nordic countries. Yet, it will probably take one or two decades before the
technique for storage of CO2 will be applicable in a greater extent in Europe. A condition for
storage of CO2 is to find storage places that guarantee that eventual leakage will have no
essential significance in a time period of a couple of hundred years.

The aim of this thesis is to find plant indicators on elevated CO2 concentration that could be
used in detecting leakages of stored CO2. A comparison was done between plant communities
near a CO2 spring in Italy that were exposed to elevated CO2 concentration and plant
communities in a control area with ambient CO2 concentration regarding the percentage cover
of vascular plants. Ellenberg indices of soil pH (R), light (L), soil moisture (F) and nitrogen
content (N) were used to estimate and compare the environmental conditions and vegetation
preferences of the two study areas. Shannon-Wiener- and evenness indices were calculated for
the two study areas. Ordination method, Correspondence Analysis (CA), was used to illustrate
differences, similarities and gradients in the collected data material.

There were no significant differences between the CO2 area and control area regarding cover
or Shannon-Wiener- and evenness indices. However, there were significant differences in
Ellenberg indices for soil pH and nitrogen content between the CO2 and control area. The
ordination showed a strong correlation with the first axis in the CA-diagram and the F, N and
R-indices, consequently creating a gradient between them. Although some significant
differences were found between the areas, the general conclusion is that no clear differences
can be found between an area with elevated CO2 concentration and another with ambient CO2
concentration when looking at the vegetation composition alone.

Main title:Impacts on plant communities by elevated CO2 concentration
Authors:Persson, Miia Liisa
Supervisor:Grandin, Ulf
Series:Rapport / Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Miljöanalys
Volume/Sequential designation:2005:13
Year of Publication:2005
Level and depth descriptor:Other
Student's programme affiliation:NATMP Natural Resources Programme 240 HEC
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Environmental Assessment
Keywords:carbon dioxide concentration, plant communities
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Plant physiology and biochemistry
Deposited On:13 Feb 2020 11:27
Metadata Last Modified:14 Feb 2020 02:01

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