Plant reproduction under elevated CO2 conditions: a meta-analysis of reports on 79 crop and wild species
Author for correspondence: Peter S. Curtis Tel: +1 614 292 0835 Fax: +1 614 292 2030 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- • Reproductive traits are key characteristics for predicting the response of communities and ecosystems to global change.
- • We used meta-analysis to integrate data on eight reproductive traits from 159 CO 2 enrichment papers that provided information on 79 species.
- • Across all species, CO 2 enrichment (500–800 µl l −1 ) resulted in more flowers (+19%), more fruits (+18%), more seeds (+16%), greater individual seed mass (+4%), greater total seed mass (+25%), and lower seed nitrogen concentration, (N) (−14%). Crops and undomesticated (wild) species did not differ in total mass response to elevated CO 2 (+31%), but crops allocated more mass to reproduction and produced more fruits (+28% vs +4%) and seeds (+21% vs +4%) than did wild species when grown at high CO 2 . Seed [N] was not affected by high CO 2 concentrations in legumes, but declined significantly in most nonlegumes.
- • Our results provide robust estimates of average plant reproductive responses to CO 2 enrichment and demonstrate important differences among individual taxa and among functional groups. In particular, crops were more responsive to elevated CO 2 than were wild species. These differences and the substantial decline in seed [N] in many species have broad implications for the functioning of future natural and agro-ecosystems.