Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/19/2012
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Future climate change predictions include the possibility of decreased rainfall and periods of drought during the growing season for many potato producing regions in the United States. Such occurrences may be of particular concern for rain-fed areas or where management practices are already affected by limited water resources. While it is generally presumed that water use efficiency will increase in response to higher CO2 levels, no experimental data is available to evaluate the vulnerability of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) to episodic drought periods when grown under CO2 enrichment. A study consisting of two experiments was conducted in 6 naturally sunlit Daylit growth chambers located at USDA-ARS facilities in Beltsville, MD, USA using the Kennebec variety. Treatments included ambient (400) and elevated (800 ppm) CO2 concentrations and short-term (ten to twenty day) drought cycles applied at no (control, C), post tuber-initiation (R), or both vegetative and reproductive (VR) developmental stages. Measurements including leaf and whole plant gas exchange, plant development, and time-series dry weight data were used to evaluate the sensitivity of the plants to the drought timing under either growth CO2. Such information is needed to determine appropriate adaptation strategies to climate change and can yield valuable insight for future irrigation practice.