Rising CO2 from historical concentrations enhances the physiological performance of Brassica napus seedlings under optimal water supply but not under reduced water availability

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Year Published: 2017
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Author: Michele Faralli, Ivan G. Grove, Martin C. Hare, Peter S. Kettlewell and Fabio Fiorani
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The productivity of many important crops is significantly threatened by water shortage and the elevated atmospheric CO2 can significantly interact with physiological processes and crop responses to drought. We examined the effects of three different CO2 concentrations (historical ~300 ppm, ambient ~400 ppm and elevated ~700 ppm) on physiological traits of oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) seedlings subjected to well-watered and reduced water availability. Our data show i) that, as expected, increasing CO2 level positively modulates leaf photosynthetic traits, leaf water-use efficiency and growth under non-stressed conditions although a pronounced acclimation of photosynthesis to elevated CO2 occurred; ii) that the predicted elevated CO2 concentration does not reduce total evapotranspiration under drought when compared to the present (400 ppm) and historical (300 ppm) concentrations because of a larger leaf area that does not buffer transpiration; iii) that accordingly the physiological traits analysed decreased similarly under stress for all CO2 concentrations. Our data support the hypothesis that increasing CO2 concentrations may not significantly counteract the negative effect of increasing drought intensity on Brassica napus performance.

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URL: http://irrigationinnovation.org/Digitool files/Pre-print PCE paper[6].pdf
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Publisher: Plant, Cell and Environment

Canola, elevated CO2, climate change, photosynthesis, stomatal conductance, shoot biomass, leaf area, evapotranspiration

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