TitleCarbon balance of a winter wheat-root microbiota system under elevated CO2
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1999
AuthorsSantruckova, H, Santrucek, J, Kveton, J, Simkova, M, Elhottova, D, Rohacek, K

We examined the carbon budget of young winter wheat plants and their associated microorganisms as affected by a doubling of the atmospheric CO2 concentration (700 mu mol mol(-1)). Plants were grown hydroponically in pre-sterilised sand at a controlled irradiance and temperature regime. Net photosynthesis (P-N) and respiration (R-D) rates of roots and shoots were measured continuously, plant growth and carbon distribution in the plant-root medium-associated microorganism system were determined destructively in interval-based analyses. P-N in elevated CO2 grown plants (EC) was 123 % of that in the control (AC) plants when averaged over the whole life span (39-d-old plants, 34 d in EC), but the percentage varied with the developmental stage being 115, 88, and 167 % in the pretillering, tillering, and posttillering phase, respectively. There was a transient depression of P-N, higher amplitude of day/night fluctuations of the chloroplast starch content, and depression of carbon content in rhizosphere of EC plants during the period of tillering. After 34 d in EC, carbon content in shoots,’roots, and in rhizodepositions was enhanced by the factors 1.05, 1.28, and 1.96, respectively. Carbon partitioning between above and belowground biomass was not affected by EC, however, proportionally more C in the belowground partitioning was allocated into the root biomass, Carbon flow from roots to rhizodepositions and rhizosphere microflora was proportional to P-N; its fraction in daily assimilated carbon decreased from young (17 %) to older (3-4 %) plants.