Elevated CO2 concentration, drought and photosynthesis

Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment Helps Plants Recover from Droughts

Changes in leaf relative water content (RWC), a good indicator of leaf hydration status and the level of drought tolerance, of tall fescue in response to 15 days of drought stress and 6 days of rewatering under ambient (400 ppm) or elevated CO2 concentration (800 ppm). Legend key: 800-D = drought-stressed plants under elevated CO2 concentration, 800-W = well-watered plants under elevated CO2 concentration, 400-D = drought-stressed plants under ambient CO2 concentration and 400-W = well-watered plants under ambient CO2 concentration. - http://www.co2science.org/articles/V18/dec/Chenetal2015b.jpg
Changes in leaf relative water content (RWC), a good indicator of leaf hydration status and the level of drought tolerance, of tall fescue in response to 15 days of drought stress and 6 days of rewatering under ambient (400 ppm) or elevated CO2 concentration (800 ppm). Legend key: 800-D = drought-stressed plants under elevated CO2 concentration, 800-W = well-watered plants under elevated CO2 concentration, 400-D = drought-stressed plants under ambient CO2 concentration and 400-W = well-watered plants under ambient CO2 concentration. – http://www.co2science.org/articles/V18/dec/Chenetal2015b.jpg

Paper Reviewed

Chen, Y., Yu, J. and Huang, B. 2015.

Effects of elevated CO2 concentration on water relations and photosynthetic responses to drought stress and recovery during re-watering in tall fescue.

Journal of the American Society of Horticultural Science 140: 19-26.

Introducing their study, Chen et al. (2015) write that “drought stress is one of the most detrimental abiotic stresses for plant growth,” in that it “leads to stomatal closure and reduces photosynthesis resulting from restricted CO2 diffusion through leaf stomata and inhibition of carboxylation activity,” as described by Flexas et al. (2004). And they thus note that “minimizing cellular dehydration and maintaining active photosynthesis are key strategies for plant survival or persistence through dry-down periods,” as is described in more detail by Nilsen and Orcutt (1996).

 

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.