The effects of increasing CO2 on crop photosynthesis and productivity: a review of field studies

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Lawlor, D. W. and Mitchell, R. A. C. 1991. The effects of increasing CO2 on crop photosynthesis and productivity: a review of field studies. Plant, Cell and Environment. 14 (8), pp. 807-818.

AuthorsLawlor, D. W. and Mitchell, R. A. C.

Only a small proportion of elevated CO2 studies on crops have taken place in the field. They generally confirm results obtained in controlled environments: CO2 increases photosynthesis, dry matter production and yield, substantially in C3 species, but less in C4, it decreases stomatal conductance and transpiration in C3 and C4 species and greatly improves water-use efficiency in all plants. The increased productivity of crops with CO2 enrichment is also related to the greater leaf area produced. Stimulation of yield is due more to an increase in the number of yield-forming structures than in their size. There is little evidence of a consistent effect of CO2 on partitioning of dry matter between organs or on their chemical composition, except for tubers. Work has concentrated on a few crops (largely soybean) and more is needed on crops for which there are few data (e.g. rice). Field studies on the effects of elevated CO2 in combination with temperature, water and nutrition are essential; they should be related to the development and improvement of mechanistic crop models, and designed to test their predictions.

KeywordsPlant Sciences
Year of Publication1991
JournalPlant, Cell and Environment
Journal citation14 (8), pp. 807-818
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Open accessPublished as non-open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or code18
Project: 011198

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