Canopy photosynthesis of crops and native plant communities exposed to long-term elevated CO2

Authors

  • B. G. DRAKE,

    Corresponding author
    1. Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, P.O. Box 28, Edgewater, Maryland 21037, U.S.A.
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  • P. W. LEADLEY

    1. Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, P.O. Box 28, Edgewater, Maryland 21037, U.S.A.
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    • *

      Present address: Department of Land. Air and Water Resources, University of California, Davis. California 95616, U.S.A.


Bert G. Drake, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. P.O. Box 28. Edgewaler. Maryland 21037, U.S.A.

Abstract

Abstract. There have been seven studies of canopy photosynthesis of plants grown in elevated atmospheric CO2: three of seed crops, two of forage crops and two of native plant ecosystems. Growth in elevated CO2 increased canopy photosynthesis in all cases. The relative effect of CO2 was correlated with increasing temperature: the least stimulation occurred in tundra vegetation grown at an average temperature near 10°C and the greatest in rice grown at 43°C. In soybean, effects of CO2 were greater during leaf expansion and pod fill than at other stages of crop maturation. In the longest running experiment with elevated CO2 treatment to date, monospecific stands of a C3 sedge, Scirpus olneyi (Grey), and a C4 grass, Spartina patens (Ait.) Muhl., have been exposed to twice normal ambient CO2 concentrations for four growing seasons, in open top chambers on a Chesapeake Bay salt marsh. Net ecosystem CO2 exchange per unit green biomass (NCEb) increased by an average of 48% throughout the growing season of 1988, the second year of treatment. Elevated CO2 increased net ecosystem carbon assimilation by 88% in the Scirpus olneyi community and 40% in the Spartina patens community.

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