6. Plant Responses to Increased Carbon Dioxide

  1. Shyam S. Yadav PhD3,
  2. Robert J. Redden PhD4,
  3. Jerry L. Hatfield PhD5,
  4. Hermann Lotze-Campen PhD6 and
  5. Anthony E. Hall PhD7
  1. S. Seneweera1 and
  2. R. M. Norton2

Published Online: 18 AUG 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470960929.ch15

Crop Adaptation to Climate Change

Crop Adaptation to Climate Change

How to Cite

Seneweera, S. and Norton, R. M. (2011) Plant Responses to Increased Carbon Dioxide, in Crop Adaptation to Climate Change (eds S. S. Yadav, R. J. Redden, J. L. Hatfield, H. Lotze-Campen and A. E. Hall), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470960929.ch15

Editor Information

  1. 3

    Agriculture—Capacity Development, Civilian Technical Assistance Program, General Directorate of Programs, Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation & Livestock, Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Kabul, Afghanistan

  2. 4

    Australian Temperate Field Crops Collection, Grains Innovation Park, The Department of Primary Industries, Private Bag 260, Horsham, Victoria 3401, Australia

  3. 5

    USDA-ARS National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment, 2110 University Blvd., Ames, IA 50011, United States of America

  4. 6

    Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), P.O. Box 601203, 14412 Potsdam, Germany

  5. 7

    Department of Botany and Plant Sciences, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0124, United States of America

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Agriculture and Food Systems, Melbourne School of Land and Environment, The University of Melbourne, Private Bag 260, Horsham, Victoria 3400, Australia

  2. 2

    International Plant Nutrition Institute, 54 Florence St, Horsham, Victoria 3400, Australia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 18 AUG 2011
  2. Published Print: 23 SEP 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780813820163

Online ISBN: 9780470960929



  • Acclimation;
  • Elevated CO2;
  • FACE;
  • Morphology;
  • Nitrogen;
  • Photosynthesis;
  • RuBisCO


Rising atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) enhances carbon uptake in C3 plants and reduces stomatal conductance in C3 and C4 plants. Even though leaf N declines, RuBisCO activity increases so the photosynthetic rate rises as does photosynthetic N use efficiency. The responses show high variability, and while the magnitude of this “fertilization” effect appears to be confounded with experimental conditions. Growth of C3 plants increased by up to 25% and grain yield somewhat less. C3 plants are more responsive that C4 plants and legumes more responsive than grasses. Photosynthetic acclimation to high CO2 constrains the response of current genotypes. Improved understanding of plant N dynamics and fine and cause of RuBisCO coupled to balancing sink numbers is the basis of developing crops for a carbon rich future. To do so require screening of large numbers of genotypes under high [CO2] and then exploit those traits using modern biotechnology tools. This is to be done against the other abiotic challenges of drought and thermotolerance, as well as responding to a host of new biotic challenges thrown up by changing global climates.