A brief history of Japan rice FACE

Atmospheric CO2 concentration [CO2] is an important environmental variable for plant growth, because it is the substrate for photosynthesis.

The increase in [CO2] since the industrial revolution has already exceeded 100 ppm (280 ppm in 1800 vs 388 in 2009), and is projected to increase to 470-570 ppm in by the middle of the century (IPCC, 2001).

Free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) provides a unique platform for investigating how future ecosystems are likely to respond to a higher CO2 concentration ([CO2]) without disturbing various ecosystem-scale interactions.

We conducted a series of rice-FACE experiments in Shizukuishi, northern Japan, that revealed the typical responses of temperate rice crops grown in cold climates to high [CO2] (ambient + 200 µmol mol-1) (Kobayashi et al., 2006; Hasegawa et al., 2007).

Shizukuisih rice FACE results have shown that there is a significant variation in grain yield enhancement due to elevated [CO2] among genotypes, N regimes and years tested under cool climates.

There is a growing need to test a larger range of conditions that can enhance adaptation and mitigation options under high CO2.

For these reasons, we have set up a new FACE site at Tsukuba (35°58′N) in 2010.

The two sites differ significantly in the growth temperature conditions; seasonal mean air temperature was 19.9 °C at Shizukuishi and 23.5 °C at Tsukuba. We also double the treatment area so we can test more treatment combination is possible.

The first Rice FACE in Shizukuishi, Lat/Lon: 39°38′N, 140°57′E (1998-2008)


Tsukuba FACE, Ibaraki
Lat/Lon: 35°58′28.57″N,139°59′36.98″E (2010-)
Diameter: 17 m