Monday, July 31, 2017

Elevated CO2 often reduces the plants’ demands for other resources,

According to over 3000 scientific publications on the biology of CO2 effects, a broad spectrum of growth responses to CO2 enrichment exists. Since elevated CO2 often reduces the plants’ demands for other resources, CO2 effects on growth do not simply follow Liebig’s law of the minimum. Plants exposed to elevated CO2 need less enzymes (and thus lower quantities of leaf proteins and nitrogen), lose less water (can cope with less soil moisture and often operate at smaller stomata openings) and need less light (because of a shift in the light compensation point for photosynthesis) to reach the equivalent, or even higher photosynthetic rates than plants growing under control conditions with “normal” CO2 concentrations.

Greening of the Earth, 1982–2006*

*Percentage change in foliage cover as revealed by satellite.
Source: R. J. Donohue, M. L. Roderick, T. R. McVicar, and G. D. Farquhar, Impact of CO2  fertilization on maximum foliage cover across the globe’s warm, arid environments, Geophysical Research Letters Vol. 40, pp. 3031-3035 (2013). 

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