Elevated CO2 increases biomass and tuber yield in potato even at high ozone concentrations


Author for correspondence: Jim Craigon Tel: +44 (0115) 9516252 Fax: +44 (0115) 9516334 Email:jim.craigon@nottingham.ac.uk


  • • Changes in the growth and yield of field-grown potato (Solanum tuberosum cv. Bintje) induced by season-long elevated CO2 and/or ozone concentrations are reported.
  • • Open-top chambers and unchambered field plots were used to examine crop responses to three CO2 (ambient, 550 and 680 µmol mol−1) and two ozone (ambient and 65 nmol mol−1, 8 h d−1 seasonal mean) treatments applied throughout the 105 d growing season.
  • • Elevated CO2 increased both above- and below-ground biomass at intermediate and final harvests. Tuber yield at final harvest was increased by c. 40% due to an increase in mean tuber weight rather than tuber number; tuber yield did not differ significantly between the 550 and 680 µmol mol−1 CO2 treatments. Elevated ozone had no significant effect on growth or yield except for the largest size category of tubers, despite extensive visible foliar injury. Significant CO2 × ozone interactions were detected only for senescent leaf number and green leaf ratio.
  • • Elevated CO2 increases biomass and tuber yield in S. tuberosum cv. Bintje even at high ozone concentrations; these findings are discussed in relation to predicted future atmospheric changes.