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Initial experimental results from the Laboratory Biosphere closed ecological system facility.

Authors
  • Nelson, M
  • Dempster, W F
  • Alling, A
  • Allen, J P
  • Rasmussen, R
  • Silverstone, S
  • Van Thillo, M
Type
Published Article
Journal
Advances in Space Research
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2003
Volume
31
Issue
7
Pages
1721–1730
Identifiers
PMID: 14503510
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

An initial experiment in the Laboratory Biosphere facility, Santa Fe, New Mexico, was conducted May-August 2002 using a soil-based system with light levels (at 12 h per day) of 58-mol m-2 d-1. The crop tested was soybean, cultivar Hoyt, which produced an aboveground biomass of 2510 grams. Dynamics of a number of trace gases showed that methane, nitrous oxide, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen gas had initial increases that were substantially reduced in concentration by the end of the experiment. Methane was reduced from 209 ppm to 11 ppm, and nitrous oxide from 5 ppm to 1.4 ppm in the last 40 days of the closure experiment. Ethylene was at elevated levels compared to ambient during the flowering/fruiting phase of the crop. Soil respiration from the 5.37 m2 (1.46 m3) soil component was estimated at 23.4 ppm h-1 or 1.28 g CO2 h-1 or 5.7 g CO2 m-2 d-1. Phytorespiration peaked near the time of fruiting at about 160 ppm h-1. At the height of plant growth, photosynthesis CO2 draw down was as high as 3950 ppm d-1, and averaged 265 ppm h-1 (whole day averages) during lighted hours with a range of 156-390 ppm h-1. During this period, the chamber required injections of CO2 to continue plant growth. Oxygen levels rose along with the injections of carbon dioxide. Upon several occasions, CO2 was allowed to be drawn down to severely limiting levels, bottoming at around 150 ppm. A strong positive correlation (about 0.05 ppm h-1 ppm-1 with r2 about 0.9 for the range 1000-5000 ppm) was observed between atmospheric CO2 concentration and the rate of fixation up to concentrations of around 8800 ppm CO2.

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