Increasing atmospheric CO 2 stimulates photosynthesis which can increase net primary production (NPP), but at longer timescales may not necessarily increase plant biomass. Here we analyse the four decade-long CO 2 -enrichment experiments in woody ecosystems that measured total NPP and biomass. CO 2 enrichment increased biomass increment by 1.05 ± 0.26 kg C m −2 over a full decade, a 29.1 ± 11.7% stimulation of biomass gain in these early-secondary-succession temperate ecosystems. This response is predictable by combining the CO 2 response of NPP (0.16 ± 0.03 kg C m −2 y −1 ) and the CO 2 -independent, linear slope between biomass increment and cumulative NPP (0.55 ± 0.17). An ensemble of terrestrial ecosystem models fail to predict both terms correctly. Allocation to wood was a driver of across-site, and across-model, response variability and together with CO 2 -independence of biomass retention highlights the value of understanding drivers of wood allocation under ambient conditions to correctly interpret and predict CO 2 responses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)