February 28, 2007
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Published July 1988 through June 1999
FROM VOLUME 4, NUMBER 6, JUNE 1991
IMPACTS OF CARBON DIOXIDE
"Predicting Ecosystem Responses to Elevated CO2 Concentrations,"
H.A. Mooney (Dept. Biol. Sci., Stanford Univ., Stanford CA 94305), B.G. Drake,
et al., BioScience, 41(2), 96-103, Feb. 1991.
Discusses what can be predicted about the CO2 response of plants from
physiological measurements and what has been learned from field observations.
Gives results from direct tests of the CO2 response of whole ecosystems and
indicates the promise and problems of the approaches used. Concludes there is an
urgent need for additional research on the response of terrestrial ecosystems to
elevated CO2 and climate change. This would include direct experimentation on
intact ecosystems, with plots large enough to encompass feedbacks.
"Effect of Elevated Atmospheric CO2 on Growth, Photosynthesis and
Water Relations of Salt Marsh Grass Species," J. Rozema (Dept. Ecol., Free
Univ., de Boelelaan 1087, 1081 HV Amsterdam, Neth.), F. Dorel et al., Aquat.
Bot., 39(1-2), 45-55, Feb. 1991.
Two C3 and two C4 grass species were grown at ambient and elevated (580 ppm)
atmospheric CO2 concentrations, at low and high salinity, under aerated and
anaerobic conditions in culture solution. The relative growth rate of both C3
grasses was enhanced with atmospheric CO2 enrichment; no such increase was found
in the C4 grasses. High salinity reduced growth of the C3 species, but this was
not prevented by elevated CO2 concentration.
"Carbon Dioxide Effects on Carbohydrate Status and Partitioning in
Rice," A.J. Rowland-Bamford (Dept. Agron., Bldg. 164, Univ. Florida,
Gainesville FL 32611), L.H. Allen Jr. et al., J. Exper. Bot., 41(233),
1601-1608, Dec. 1990.
Rice plants were grown season-long in outdoor, naturally sunlit
environmentally controlled growth chambers with CO2 concentrations of 160-900
micro mol CO2 mol-1 air. An increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration over the
next century would probably result in an increase in the carbohydrate
concentration in the vegetative tissue but not in the grain. Grain yield would
improve by an increase in panicles and available carbohydrates to fill the extra
"Changes in N and S Leaf Content, Stomatal Density and Specific Leaf
Area of 14 Plant Species during the Last Three Centuries of CO2 Increase,"
J. Peņuelas (Ctr. Investigaciķ Agāria, Inst. Recerca i
Tecnol. Agroaliment., Crta. de Cabrils s/n, 08348 Cabrils (Barcelona), Spain),
R. Matamala, ibid., 41(230), 1119-1124, Sep. 1990.
Overall decreases in leaf N content and stomatal density were observed in
herbarium specimens of trees, shrubs and herbs collected over the last 240 years
in Catalonia, which has a Mediterranean climate. These decreases were steeper
during the initial, slower increases in atmospheric CO2 levels as compared with
the relatively faster increases in recent years. Consequently the C/N ratio of
leaves has increased, implying possible important consequences on herbivores,
decomposers and ecosystems.
"Somatic and Genetic Effects of the Increase of Carbon Dioxide and
Other Trace Gases in the Atmosphere through Changes of Radon and Thoron
Exhalation Rates and Other Factors," K. Okamoto (Dept. Phys., Tokyo Gakugei
Univ., Koganei, Tokyo, Japan 184), Atmos. Environ., 24A(6),
Analyzes possible increases in the Earth's rate of exhalation of radon and
thoron resulting from changes in temperature, snow and ice melt, soil moisture
and atmospheric pressure. Previous studies of effects of radioactive gases on
uranium miners indicate that increased radon and thoron could cause increased
lung cancer and genetic alterations in the general public.
"Long-Term Photosynthetic Response in Single Leaves of a C3 and C4
Salt Marsh Species Grown at Elevated Atmospheric CO2 in Situ," L.H.
Ziska (Dept. Bot., Univ. Maryland, College Pk. MD 20742), B.G. Drake, S.
Chamberlain, Oecologia, 83(4), 469-472, July 1990.
Mono-specific communities of a C3 sedge and a C4 grass were exposed to
ambient or elevated CO2 through the 1987-1988 growing seasons in open-top field
chambers on a tidal marsh. Single stems of the C3 sedge, grown at elevated CO2
for both seasons, showed an increased photosynthetic rate. The C4 grass showed
no significant photosynthetic increase, except at the beginning of the 1988
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