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Elevated CO2 Stimulates Growth in Young Scots Pine
Jach, M.E., Laureysens, I. and Ceulemans, R.  2000.  Above- and below-ground production of young Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) trees after three years of growth in the field under elevated CO2Annals of Botany 85: 789-798.

What was done
Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) seedlings were rooted in the ground and grown in
open-top chambers receiving atmospheric CO2 concentrations of 350 and 750 ppm for three years to determine the long-term effects of elevated CO2 on this important timber species.  In addition, in order to make the experimental results more representative of the natural world, no nutrients or irrigation waters were applied to the soils during this investigation.

What was learned
After three years, elevated CO2 increased total biomass production in seedlings by 55%, in spite of the fact the experimental soils were relatively nutrient-poor.  To possibly compensate for this nutritional deficiency, elevated CO2 increased root biomass by more than 150%, which would enhance the abilities of CO2-enriched seedlings to search greater soil volumes for nutrients required to sustain their development and growth.  In addition, elevated CO2 increased seedling stem biomass, branch biomass, and branch thickness by 49, 74, and 13%, respectively.

What it means
As the CO2 content of the air continues to rise, Scots pine trees should respond by exhibiting increases in their growth and biomass production, regardless of soil nutrient condition.  Indeed, the authors concluded "it is likely that on nutrient-poor forest sites valuable gains to the timber industry may be achieved under future climatic conditions, since increased root production may enhance both nutrient availability, and hence timber production, as well as increase wind stability."