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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

2008 Annual Report

1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
Determine relationships between effects of elevated carbon dioxide on gene expression and physiological responses which increase the response of crop yield to atmospheric and climatic global changes. Determine how changes in carbon dioxide concentration affect the relative competitiveness of crops and weeds. Determine how elevated carbon dioxide affects relationships between fertilizer and weed management practices and crop yield and soil carbon sequestration.

1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Crop and weed species will be grown at the current ambient concentration of carbon dioxide and at 1.5 times that concentration in field plots, using open top chambers, and in growth cabinets. Changes in gene expression, physiology, and the growth of crops will examined at ambient and elevated concentrations of carbon dioxide in combination with high temperature stress, drought stress, and competition from weeds. Soybeans, common beans, spring wheat, oats and some weed species will be examined for genotypic differences in responsiveness to carbon dioxide concentration. Invasive and non-invasive weed species will be compared for responses to rising atmospheric carbon dioxide. Impacts of elevated carbon dioxide on yield responses to nitrogen fertilizer will be determined in a corn, wheat, and soybean crop rotation system. The effect of elevated carbon dioxide on soil carbon sequestration will be examined in two no-till cropping systems.

3.Progress Report
Growth in elevated carbon dioxide decreased soluble amino acid levels in barley primary leaves, indicating that the yellowing of leaves strongly affected the assimilation of nitrogen into amino acids and proteins. Plant growth during drought was found to be reduced because leaves become overly sensitive to carbon dioxide, blocking the entry of carbon dioxide into the leaves for photosynthesis, and not directly because of the lack of water. It was found that cities have higher carbon dioxide levels and night-time temperatures similar to those projected to occur in about 50 years with continued global warming, and city environments can be used to assess plant responses to projected global changes.

This progress aligns with the NP 204 Action Plan, Global Change, Component III, Agricultural Ecosystems Impacts, a) Cropping Systems.

1. "Modern wheat and oat varieties are not the most responsive to elevated carbon dioxide." One aspect of adapting agriculture to global change is identification of crop lines which could take better advantage of the rising concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Work in the Crop Systems and Global Change Laboratory has shown that the yield of varieties of wheat and oats released about 100 years ago is much more stimulated by projected increases in carbon dioxide than is the yield of modern lines. This work will aid crop breeders in developing varieties with high yield in future environments.

This progress aligns with the NP 204 Action Plan, Global Change, Component III, Agricultural Ecosystems Impacts, a) Cropping Systems.

6.Technology Transfer


Review Publications
Ziska, L.H. 2008. Rising atmospheric carbon dioxide and plant biology: the overlooked paradigm. In: D.L. Kleinman, K.A. Cloud-Hansen, C. Matta, J. Handelsman, editors. Controversies in Science and Technology, From Climate to Chromosomes. New Rochele, NY: Liebert, Inc. p. 379-400.

Ziska, L.H., Blumenthal, D.M. 2007. Empirical selection of cultivated oat in response to rising atmospheric carbon dioxide. Crop Science. 47(4)1547-1552.

Zhu, C., Zeng, Q., Ziska, L.H., Zhu, J., Xie, Z., Liu, G. 2008. Effect of nitrogen supply on carbon dioxide-induced changes in competition between rice and barnyardgrass (Echinochloa crus-galli). Weed Science. 56:66-71.

Bae, H., Kim, S., Kim, M.S., Sicher, Jr., R.C., Strem, M.D., Natarajan, S.S., Bailey, B.A. 2008. Coordinated regulation of polyamine biosynthesis in Theobroma cacao (cacao) tissues responding to stress. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry. 46:174-188.

Bunce, J.A. 2007. Low carbon dioxide concentrations can reverse stomatal closure during water stress. Physiologia Plantarum. 130:552-559.

Ziska, L.H., Epstein, P.B., Rogers, C.A. 2008. Climate Change, Aerobiology, and Public Health in the Northeast United States. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change. 13:607-613.

Ziska, L.H., Bunce, J.A. 2007. Predicting the impact of changing CO2 on crop yields: Some thoughts on food. New Phytologist. 175:607-618.

George, K., Ziska, L.H., Bunce, J.A., Quebedeaux, B. 2007. Elevated atmospheric C02 concentration and temperature across an urban-rural transect. Atmospheric Environment. 41:7654-7665.

Ziska, L.H. 2008. Three year field evaluation of early and late 20th century spring wheat cultivars to projected increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide. Field Crops Research. 108:54-59.

Sicher Jr, R.C. 2008. Effects of CO2 enrichment on soluble amino acids and organic acids in barley primary leaves as a function of age, photoperiod, and chlorosis. Plant Science. 174:576-582.

Wolfe, D.W., Ziska, L.H., Petzoldt, C., Seaman, A., Chase, L., Hayhoe, K. 2008. Projected change in climate thresholds in the northeastern U.S.: implications for crops, pests, livestocks, and farmers. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change. 13:555-575.

Last Modified: 4/19/2015
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