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Effects Of Enhanced Concentration Of Carbon Dioxide On Plants

1306 words - 5 pages

To what extent does higher concentrations of carbon dioxide affect plant growth? I am interested in the effects of the increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide on plant growth due to global warming. The carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have been increasing since the industrial revolution started in the late 18th century. Because of this, I want to know what would happen to plant growth if higher concentrations of carbon dioxide are exposed to plants than normal concentrations. The only two solutions to the research question is the plants will either absorb the higher amount of carbon dioxide and increase photosynthesis, or the plants won't be fully adapted to this exposure and wilt.

When plants are exposed to high levels of carbon dioxide, then plant growth has mostly positive effects. There has been a 30-50% increase in carbon dioxide since the industrial revolution began. The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere during the pre-industrial era was 280.0 ppm, and by 2000 the concentration in the atmosphere increased to 367.0 ppm.1 Before the industrial revolution, CO2 levels "represented the baseline CO2 to which much of the world's flora adapted".2 This means that plants have adapted to lower concentrations of CO2, so researchers now wonder how will plants that are used to lower levels of CO2 adapt to the increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Plant adaptation in future elevated CO2 levels have to depend on structural adaptation of the plants.3 If the plants aren’t structurlly able to hold too much carbon dioxide at once, then the plants will start to die. Many plants since the industrial revolution have structurally adapted to higher amounts of carbon dioxide because the higher concentrations have been stupendous for crop yields lately. A negative effect since the industrial revolution started is the CO2 enrichment in the atmosphere is causing the reducing of the primeval atmosphere.4 In return, the solar UV- B that penetrates the earth is starting to effect plants negatively because the earth is becoming warmer.

More than 90% of plant biomass comes from the CO2. Plant growth and productivity is generally increased due to enhanced photosynthesis and decreases transpiration under levels of elevated CO2 .5 The task that carbon dioxide does during the process of photosynthesis is to diffuse through the stomata to modulate the activity of rubisco6 in the Calvin Cycle in order to produce glucose for the plant. This makes carbon dioxide important for plant growth because without carbon dioxide, then no glucose can be made. Glucose is a crucial organic compound that is found in the cellulose of the cell wall. Without the cellulose, then the plant wouldn’t have any structural support. Structure is an important aspect for plants adapting to the new levels of carbon dioxide.

One effect on tobacco seedlings when the concentration of carbon dioxide was increased from 400 ppm to 1200 ppm, is the averaged biomass...

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