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Keywords:

  • Elevated CO2;
  • Pinus taeda;
  • seed germination;
  • seed lipids;
  • seed production

Summary

  • 1
    Pinus taeda seeds, developed under ambient or elevated (ambient + 200 µl l−1) [CO2], were collected from Duke Forest, North Carolina, USA in October 1998. Seeds were germinated in nutrient-deficient soil in either ambient or elevated [CO2] (ambient + 200 µl l−1) greenhouse chambers and allowed to grow for 120 days.
  • 2
     Seeds that developed in elevated [CO2] had 91 and 265% greater weight and lipid content, respectively, and three times the germination success, compared to those developed in current ambient [CO2].
  • 3
     Seedlings from the elevated [CO2] seed source had significantly greater root length and more needles regardless of greenhouse chamber, but there were no treatment effects on tissue or total biomass.
  • 4
     Severely limiting nutrient conditions resulted in significant photosynthetic downregulation by seedlings grown in greenhouse chambers with elevated [CO2], regardless of seed source.
  • 5
     Our hypothesis that greater seed reserves from CO2 enrichment would synergistically affect seedling growth responses to elevated [CO2] was not strongly supported. Nonetheless, seeds produced in a CO2-enriched environment may have fundamental changes in their viability, chemistry and germination that may affect reproduction.