February 28, 2007
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FROM VOLUME 3, NUMBER 9, SEPTEMBER 1990
EFFECTS OF CO2 ON VEGETATION
"Plant Responses to Rising Carbon Dioxide and Potential Interactions
with Air Pollutants," L.H. Allen Jr. (Dept. Agron., Univ. Florida,
Gainesville FL 32611), J. Environ. Qual., 19(1), 15-34,
Review of research shows that elevated CO2 increases photosynthetic rates,
leaf area, biomass, and yield. It also reduces transpiration rate per unit leaf
area, but not in proportion to reduction of stomatal conductance, because
foliage temperature tends to rise. An example calculation shows that reduction
in stomatal conductance by doubled CO2 could potentially reduce the effects of
ambient O3 and SO2 by 15%. Recommends further research.
"Interactive Effects of CO2 and Environment on Net Photosynthesis of
Water-Lily," S.G. Allen (U.S. Water Conserv. Lab., 4331 E. Broadway,
Phoenix AZ 85040), S.B. Idso, B.A. Kimball, Agric., Ecosys. Environ.,
30(1/2), 81-88, Jan. 1990.
Water lilies were grown outdoors in open-top CO2 enriched chambers and
subjected to ambient or twice ambient levels of CO2. In conditions generally
unfavorable for net photosynthesis (low light and low temperature), there was no
difference in the photosynthetic rate between the two CO2 treatments. However,
under favorable conditions (high light and high temperature) the photosynthetic
rate was as much as 60% greater at the doubled CO2 concentration level.
"Developmental Responses of Rice to Photoperiod and Carbon Dioxide
Concentration," J.T. Baker (Agron. Dept., Univ. Florida, Gainesville FL
32611), L.H. Allen et al., Agric. For. Meteor., 50, 201-210,
Determined the developmental responses of a modern, improved rice cultivar
to a range of CO2 concentrations under two contrasting photoperiods. The first
or early-planted rice experiment was conducted with photoperiod extension lights
during the vegetative phase of development, while the second or late-planted
rice experiment was conducted using only naturally occurring photoperiod. In
both experiments, mainstem leaf developmental rates were greater during
vegetative (rather than reproductive) growth stages, and leaf appearance rates
increased with CO2 treatment during vegetative development.
"Influence of Phosphorus Deficiency on the Growth Response of Four
Families of Pinus radiata Seedlings to CO2-Enriched Atmospheres,"
J.P. Conroy (Sch. Biol. Sci., Macquarie Univ., N.S.W. 2109, Australia), P.J.
Milham et al., For. Ecol. Mgmt., 30, 175-188, 1990.
Seedlings of all four families were exposed to ambient and double CO2
concentration levels in controlled-environment chambers for 16 weeks. Results
indicate that the higher levels of atmospheric CO2 expected in the next century
will increase the growth of P. radiata where P availability is adequate,
but may reduce growth in areas where rainfall is low.
"The Effects of Enriched CO2 Atmospheres on Plant-Insect Herbivore
Interactions: Growth Responses of Larvae of the Specialist Butterfly, Junonia
coenia (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae)," E.D. Fajer (Museum Comparative
Zool., 26 Oxford St., Harvard Univ., Cambridge MA 02138), Oecologia,
81, 514-520, 1989.
Reared both early and penultimate instar larvae of the buckeye on major
hostplants grown in ambient or doubled CO2 atmospheres. Despite consuming more
foliage, early instar larvae experienced reduced growth on high CO2-grown
compared to ambient CO2-grown leaves. Penultimate instar larvae had similar
growth rates for both cases. Suggests that differences in growth responses by
early instar larvae may be due to the inability to efficiently process the
increased flow of food through the gut caused by additional consumption of high
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