7. Effects of Increasing Carbon Dioxide Levels and …

I will study the effects of changes in global climate on desert plant biodiversity at Big Bend National Park, Texas. More specifically, I will investigate how increased precipitation and nitrogen deposition will alter the carbon dynamics of the dominant plants in a sotol-grassland ecosystem. Alterations in environmental conditions may change the amount of carbon used by plants for important processes such as photosynthesis, respiration, and the construction of vegetative and reproductive parts. By studying the physiological responses of plants to global climate change, I hope to better understand future changes in plant species' success and biodiversity.

photosynthesis and subsequent ..

Increased precipitation and nitrogen deposition will increase the net carbon gain of the study plants due to increased rates of photosynthesis. The energetic cost for biomass production (i.e. construction cost) of the plant will not be immediately or greatly affected by increased precipitation, but may decrease with increased nitrogen deposition. Overall, I expect that changes in individual plant responses to increased precipitation and nitrogen deposition will have the potential to alter community and ecosystem level species’ success. I predict that species which can increase carbon gain due to the acquisition of increased water will not only become the dominant members of the community, but also show long term persistence and success in the ecosystem. I further predict that increased nitrogen will not have a large effect on community dynamics unless coupled with increased precipitation, as water is essential for the assimilation of nitrogen by plants.


Carbon Cycle and the Earth's Climate - Columbia …

Enhanced monsoon precipitation and nitrogen deposition affect leaf traits and photosynthesis differently in spring and summer in the desert shrub Larrea tridentata

I plan to study the effects of changes in our global climate on desert plant biodiversity at Big Bend National Park, Texas. More specifically, I will investigate how increased precipitation and nitrogen deposition will alter the carbon dynamics of the dominant plants in a sotol-grassland ecosystem. Alterations in environmental conditions may change the amount of carbon used by plants for important processes such as photosynthesis, respiration, and the construction of vegetative and reproductive parts. By studying the physiological responses of plants to global climate change, I hope to better understand future changes in plant species' success and biodiversity.