Effects of Elevated Carbon Dioxide on the Growth and Physiology of Loblolly Pine
The level of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere has been increasing at an annual rate of approximately 1.5 μmoI mol-d (Keeling et al., 1989). The present atmospheric CO2, is expected to double by the end of the next century. Carbon dioxide is one of the ‘greenhouse gases’ that is believed to cause gradual warming of the earth’s atmosphere with consequent changes in natural ecosystems. Carbon dioxide is also one of the substrates of photosynthesis. Therefore, it may be reasonable to assume that the rise in atmospheric CO2 will be advantageous to plant metabolism. Short-term studies, conducted mainly on annual crops, indicate that exposure of plants to elevated CO2 improved rates of growth and photo- synthesis and total dry matter production with varying effects under different environmental conditions (Kramer, 198 1; Strain and Sionit, 1982; Kimball, 1983; Dahlman et al., 1985; Sionit et al., 1985; Strain and Cure, 1985; Strain, 1987; Rogers and Dahlman, 1993). In general, C3 species respond more to elevated CO2 than C4 species.
KeywordsPlant Height Stem Diameter Pinus Taeda Elevated Carbon Dioxide Ambient Plot
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