Natural CO2 springs in Japan: A case study of vegetation dynamics

Y. Onoda, K. Hikosaka, T. Hirose

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2 Citations (Scopus)


To study the effects of elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration on vegetation dynamics in the natural environment, we measured ground cover across CO2 gradients at a natural CO2 spring. Two hollows, one emitting CO2 and a similarly shaped non-emitting one, were used. Both hollows had been covered with mature beech and oak trees with a sparse understory. In 2000 the vegetation within and around the Hollows was removed, and revegetation began. After four years of revegetation, we established 213 quadrats in the hollows, and measured the ground cover of seven target species (Fagus crenata, Salix bakko, Sasa kurilensis, Carex albata, Carex oxyandra, Scirpus wichurai and Miscanthus sinensis) at each quadrat. The ground cover of each species was analysed as a function of atmospheric CO2 levels that were interpolated from actual measurements at six locations and depths from the top of the hollow. The abundance of Carex albata and Salix bakko was higher in high CO2 areas, and Sasa kurilensis was more abundant in the ambient CO2 area. No significant effect of CO2 was observed in other species. These results suggest that elevated CO2 favours the growth and dynamics of some species, and consequently may modify the process of vegetation succession.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-394
Number of pages6
JournalPhyton - Annales Rei Botanicae
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Oct 1


  • Elevated CO
  • Natural CO spring
  • Succession
  • Vegetation


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