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Environ Pollut. 2001;115(3):335-58.

The likely impact of rising atmospheric CO2 on natural and managed Populus: a literature review.

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University of Antwerp, UIA, Department of Biology, Research Group of Plant and Vegetation Ecology, Wilrijk, Belgium.


Because of their prominent role in global biomass productivity, as well as their complex structure and function, forests and tree species deserve particular attention in studies on the likely impact of elevated atmospheric CO2 on terrestrial vegetation. Poplar (Populus) has proven to be an interesting study object due to its fast response to a changing environment, and the growing importance of managed forests in the carbon balance. Results of both chamber and field experiments with different poplar species and hybrids are reviewed in this contribution. Despite the variability between experiments and species, and the remaining uncertainty over the long term, poplar is likely to profit from a rising atmospheric CO2 concentration with a mean biomass stimulation of 33%. Environmental conditions and pollutants (e.g. O3) may counteract this stimulation but with managed plantations, environmental constraints might not occur. The predicted responses of poplar to rising atmospheric CO2 have implications for future forest management and the expected forest carbon sequestration.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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