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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Urbana, Illinois » Global Change and Photosynthesis Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #359063

Research Project: Optimizing Photosynthesis for Global Change and Improved Yield

Location: Global Change and Photosynthesis Research

Title: The influence of rising tropospheric carbon dioxide and ozone on plant productivity

Author
item Ainsworth, Elizabeth - Lisa
item Lemonnier, Pauline - Oak Ridge Institute For Science And Education (ORISE)
item Wedow, Jessica - University Of Illinois

Submitted to: Plant Biology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/4/2019
Publication Date: 2/7/2019
Citation: Ainsworth, E.A., Lemonnier, P., Wedow, J.M. 2019. The influence of rising tropospheric carbon dioxide and ozone on plant productivity. Plant Biology. https://doi.org/10.1111/plb.12973.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/plb.12973

Interpretive Summary: Many anthropogenic air pollutants have direct effects on plants, including carbon dioxide (CO2), which is a substrate for photosynthesis, and ozone (O3), a damaging oxidant. How plants respond to changes in these atmospheric air pollutants feeds back on the composition of the atmosphere and the global climate. In this paper, we discuss the past, current and future trends in emissions of CO2 and O3. We synthesize the current atmospheric CO2 and O3 budgets, highlighting the role of vegetation in reducing the atmospheric burden of CO2 and O3. We then examine recent results from long-term Free Air CO2 or O3 Enrichment (FACE) experiments, in which the interactive effects of rising temperature, nutrient availability, and water supply have been studied. A main conclusion of this synthesis is that long-term experimentation in both natural and cropping systems is needed to provide critical insight about how CO2 and O3 will impact plant productivity in the future.

Technical Abstract: Human activities result in a wide array of pollutants being released to the atmosphere. A number of these pollutants have direct effects on plants, including carbon dioxide (CO2), which is the substrate for photosynthesis, and ozone (O3), a damaging oxidant. How plants respond to changes in these atmospheric air pollutants, both directly and indirectly, feeds back on atmospheric composition and global climate, global net primary productivity and ecosystem service provisioning. Here we discuss the past, current and future trends in emissions of CO2 and O3. We synthesize the current atmospheric CO2 and O3 budgets, describing the important role of vegetation in determining the atmospheric burden of those pollutants. We then examine recent results from long-term Free Air CO2 or O3 Enrichment (FACE) experiments, which highlight the important interactive effects of temperature, nutrients, and water supply in determining ecosystem responses to air pollution. Long-term experimentation in both natural and cropping systems is needed to provide critical insight about how these air pollutants will impact plant productivity in the decades to come.