2004 Volume 42 Issue 4 Pages 295-303
In existing FACE (Free Air CO2 Enrichment) systems, efforts have been made to maintain the CO2 concentration within a FACE ring at the setpoint value. Therefore, effects of only one elevated CO2 concentration on plants and/or ecosystems can be examined with one ring. The basic idea of the present study was, instead of controlling the CO2 concentrations within a ring at a constant value, to create and maintain a constant CO2 concentration gradient within a ring. In this way, examinations of the effects of different CO2 concentrations on plants and/or ecosystems would be realized using one ring. An artificial neural network was applied to control the CO2 gradient within a ring of a stretched hexagon with ten CO2 emitting tubes. The results of the experiments showed that when the wind speed was more than the detectable range by the anemometer (about 30 cm s-1), a concentration gradient was in most cases observed, though not completely the same as the target gradient. When the wind speed was less than the detectable value, the CO2 concentrations within a ring rose far above the target values and the gradient was not created.