News Round-Up

How grasslands respond to climate change


The rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration and concurrent climate change has led to yield reductions of grass-rich grassland vegetation in the past century. This observation was made by researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) who, working jointly with colleagues from Rothamsted (UK), conducted a study on the world’s oldest permanent ecological experiment there.

“Based on field experiments with increased carbon dioxide concentration, artificial warming, and modified water supply, scientists understand quite well how future climate change will affect grassland vegetation. Such knowledge is largely missing for effects that already occurred in the last century,” says Hans Schnyder, Professor of Grassland at the TUM.

Based on the Park Grass Experiment at Rothamsted, researchers have now shown that future predicted effects of climate change on the nutrient status of grassland vegetation have already taken hold in the last century. MORE

Header image: Using data from the Park Grass Experiment in Rothamsted (photo), scientists investigated why the world’s 50 million square kilometres of grasslands stopped absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere after peaking more than a century ago. Credit: Rothamsted Research.