Inter-generational effects on the growth of Poa annua (L.) in ambient and elevated atmospheric CO2 conditions (350 and 550 μl l–1, respectively) were studied in two different experiments. Both experiments showed similar results. In a greenhouse experiment growth, measured as the numbers of tillers produced per week, was compared for plants grown from first and second generation seeds. Second generation seeds were obtained from plants grown for one whole generation in either ambient or elevated atmospheric CO2 (‘ambient’ and ‘elevated’ seeds, respectively). First generation plants and second generation ‘ambient’ plants did not respond to elevated CO2. Second generation ‘elevated’ plants produced significantly more tillers in elevated CO2. In the second experiment model terrestrial ecosystems growing in the Ecotron and which included Poa annua were used. Above-ground biomass after one and two generations of growth were compared. At the end of Generation 1 no difference was found in biomass production while at the end of Generation 2 biomass increased in elevated CO2 by 50%. The implications for climate change research are discussed.
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