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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Response of Plants to Elevated Atmospheric Co2

Author
item Kimball, Bruce

Submitted to: International Congress of Plant Physiology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 1, 2003
Publication Date: November 15, 2003
Citation: Kimball, B.A. 2003.Response of plants to elevated atmospheric co2. International Congress of Plant Physiology PL-5. In: Second International Congress of Plant Physiology, Indian Society for Plant Physiology, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, and International Society for Plant Physiology, New Delhi. [Abstract].

Technical Abstract: An overall analysis has been completed of the results from free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) experiments conducted on agricultural crops during the past decade. These FACE experiments were conducted on wheat, perennial ryegrass, and rice, which are C3 grasses; sorghum, a C4 grass; white clover, a C3 legume; potato, a C3 forb with tuber storage; and cotton and grape, which are C3 woody perennials. Elevated CO2 increased photosynthesis, biomass, and yield substantially in C3 species, but little in C4. It decreased stomatal conductance in both C3 and C4 species and greatly improved water-use efficiency in all crops. Growth stimulations were as large or larger under water-stress compared to well-watered conditions. At low soil N, stimulations of non-legumes were reduced, whereas elevated CO2 strongly stimulated the growth of the clover legume both at ample and low N conditions. Roots were generally stimulated more than shoots. Woody perennials had larger growth responses to elevated CO2, but their reductions in stomatal conductance were smaller. Tissue N concentrations went down while carbohydrate and some other carbon-based compounds went up, with leaves being the organs affected most. Phenology was accelerated slightly in most but not all species. Elevated CO2 affected some soil microbes greatly but not others, yet overall activity was stimulated. Detection of statistically significant changes in soil organic carbon in any one study was nearly impossible, yet combining results from several sites and years, it appeared that elevated CO2 did increase sequestration of soil carbon. Comparisons of the FACE results with those from earlier chamber-based results were consistent, which gives confidence that conclusions drawn from both types of data are accurate.

Last Modified: 8/30/2014
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