PerspectiveEcology

Looking Beneath the Surface

Science  06 Dec 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5600, pp. 1903-1904
DOI: 10.1126/science.1079808

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Summary

Global climate change is expected to have ecological consequences. Field studies attempting to simulate these effects often do not investigate multiple environmental factors and may therefore miss some important feedbacks. In his Perspective, Morgan highlights the multiple-factor, 3-year field study reported by Shaw et al., who find that increasing COmay inhibit plant growth. Morgan discusses possible explanations for this counterintuitive result, but cautions that short-term, transient responses may not reflect the long-term ecological response.