University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
College of Biological Sciences


Experiment 141 - BioCON : Biodiversity, Elevated CO2, and N Enrichment

BioCON (Biodiversity, CO2, and Nitrogen) is an ecological experiment started in 1997 at the University of Minnesota's Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve. BioCON's goal is to explore the ways in which plant communities will respond to three environmental changes that are known to be occurring on a global scale: increasing nitrogen deposition, increasing atmospheric CO2, and decreasing biodiversity.

Why Biodiversity, CO2, and Nitrogen?

While there are many uncertainties in global change biology, there are also some well documented facts. Some of these are:

1. The amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere is rising. Since the industrial revolution, the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere has increased from approximately 275 parts per million (ppm) to about 378 ppm today. This has been largely the result of fossil fuel burning. It is expected that CO2 levels will continue to rise, and that by the year 2050 these levels will be approximately 550 ppm. CO2 is the raw material for photosynthesis and is known to affect plant growth and development.

2. The amount of nitrogen moving through terrestrial ecosystems has increased in the recent past. While natural "background" levels of nitrogen fixation have remained constant, human additions to the system through fertilizer production and fossil fuel use have increased dramatically. Nitrogen is a key nutrient for plant growth and plays a critical role in plant community structure and composition in many environments.

3. Biodiversity levels are falling. While the research and data are not as complete as they are for CO2 and nitrogen, data indicate that the number of species globally, is being reduced. Perhaps more important for ecosystem function, diversity levels on local to regional scales have fallen due to land use change, biotic invasion and many other drivers.

While much is known about how each of these factors affects ecosystem functioning, many questions remain. There is also little data on how these issues affect each other, and what emergent qualities may arise when systems are exposed to these changes simultaneously. BioCON seeks to address these issues with this multi-year study at Cedar Creek Ecosytem Science Preserve.

Methods for e141


Dataset IDTitleRange of Years (# years with data)
acye1411996 Ring soil texture, pH and Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC)1996-1996 (1 year)
acie141Carbon respiration from soil incubation2007-2007 (1 year)
aele141June aboveground 15N isotope, total N and delta 15N 2000-2012 (8 years)
aeje141Leaf 15N isotope, total N and delta 15N from 9 species water treatment plots2008-2011 (4 years)
aeke141Leaf delta 13C and total C from 9 species water treatment plots2008-2010 (3 years)
aeoe141Leaf net photosynthesis in CO2 x N x water treatment combinations2007-2010 (4 years)
aege141Light and heavy soil fraction total N and delta 15N2002-2002 (1 year)
afce141Litter biomass carbon nitrogen from water treatment plots2008-2010 (3 years)
aake141Lupinus Transgenerational Effects2006-2006 (1 year)
acfe141Lysimeter Water Treatment Plots2009-2010 (2 years)
lye141Lysimeter data2003-2005 (3 years)
aeie141Monoculture species green leaf total N and delta 15N2002-2002 (1 year)
nie141N15 isotope in plants1999-2000 (2 years)
mre141Nitrogen mineralization rate1998-2014 (17 years)
adue141Oak leaf water potential2012-2012 (1 year)
afde141Oak seedling survival 2002-2004 (2 years)
afpe141Patch Level Phenophase Measurements2012-2016 (5 years)
lpe141Percent light penetration1998-2016 (19 years)
phoe141Photosynthesis (A max, etc.)1998-2013 (16 years)
acce141Photosynthesis Leaf Carbon and Nitrogen1998-2008 (11 years)
aewe141Photosynthesis of Bromus inermis and Andropogon gerardi under treatment combinations of CO2 x Warm in 9 species plots2013-2014 (2 years)
afke141Photosynthetic CO2 response curves at controlled light, CO2 and temperatures1998-1998 (1 year)
nbe141Plant aboveground biomass carbon and nitrogen1998-2014 (16 years)
ple141Plant aboveground biomass data1998-2016 (19 years)
pce141Plant species percent cover data1998-2016 (19 years)
aale141Poa Transgenerational Effects2006-2006 (1 year)
sachmie141Reproduction data for Achillea millefolium2002-2016 (2 years)
samocae141Reproduction data for Amorpha canescens2006-2016 (8 years)
sasctue141Reproduction data for Asclepias tuberosa2007-2016 (7 years)
slescae141Reproduction data for Lespedeza capitata2001-2012 (12 years)
sluppee141Reproduction data for Lupinus perennis2001-2016 (12 years)
spetvie141Reproduction data for Petalostemum villosum2006-2012 (7 years)
ssolrie141Reproduction data for Solidago rigida2001-2012 (9 years)
sgrasse141Reproduction data for grasses2002-2016 (10 years)
roote141Root biomass data1998-2016 (19 years)
nre141Root carbon/nitrogen data1998-2014 (16 years)
rie141Root ingrowth biomass1998-2016 (19 years)
aame141Schizachyrium Transgenerational Effects2006-2006 (1 year)
swe141Seed weight 2001-2002 (2 years)
aese141Soil Organisms2010-2010 (1 year)
nhe141Soil ammonium1998-2002 (5 years)
bde141Soil bulk density2003-2004 (2 years)
scfe141Soil carbon flux1998-2016 (19 years)
afqe141Soil metagenome fungal responses to elevated CO22009-2009 (1 year)
hoe141Soil moisture1998-2016 (19 years)
nohe141Soil nitrate and ammonium1998-2002 (5 years)
sphe141Soil pH1999-2014 (16 years)
ne141Soil percent nitrogen and carbon2002-2012 (3 years)
slae141Specific Leaf Area2001-2001 (1 year)
ache141Total and non-hydrolyzable soil carbon and nitrogen 2007-2007 (1 year)
acbe141Vac Sampling aphids2000-2002 (3 years)
acae141Vac Sampling arthropod community 2001-2003 (3 years)