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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: IDENTIFYING AND MANIPULATING DETERMINANTS OF PHOTOSYNTHATE PRODUCTION AND PARTITIONING

Location: Global Change and Photosynthesis Research Unit

Title: A multi-biome gap in understanding of crop and ecosystem responses to elevated CO2

Authors
item Leakey, A D B -
item Bishop, K -
item Ainsworth, Elizabeth

Submitted to: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 16, 2012
Publication Date: June 1, 2012
Citation: Leakey, A., Bishop, K.A., Ainsworth, E.A. 2012. A multi-biome gap in understanding of crop and ecosystem responses to elevated CO2. Current Opinion in Plant Biology. 15(3):228-236.

Interpretive Summary: Experiments investigating plant and ecosystem responses to rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations have found that the magnitude of the response to elevated carbon dioxide depends upon other environmental conditions including temperature, the availability of nitrogen and other nutrients, and soil moisture availability. There has been a strong bias in experimentation to the Northern Hemisphere and in particular temperate regions. The tropics and high latitudes have been much less studied, and consequently, the impacts of environmental change in many regions of the world are being modeled and predicted by extrapolation beyond the range of available high quality data. This is of particular concern because the under-studied regions include those where food security is already a major challenge to human well-being.

Technical Abstract: Open-top chamber (OTC) and Free Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) experiments have advanced understanding of plant and ecosystem responses to rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations ([CO2]). A key result from long-term experiments is that the magnitude of response to elevated [CO2] is dependent upon other environmental conditions, namely temperature and the availability of nutrients and soil moisture. In addition, there is significant variation in the response to elevated [CO2] among plant functional types, species and crop varieties. However, experimental data on plant and ecosystem responses to elevated [CO2] is strongly biased to economically and ecologically important systems in the temperate zone. There is a multi-biome gap in experimental data that is most severe in the tropic and sub-tropics, but also includes high latitudes. Physiological understanding of the environmental conditions and species found at high and low latitudes suggest they may respond differently to elevated [CO2] than well-studied temperate systems.

Last Modified: 7/31/2014
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