Barley Growth and Its Underlying Components are Affected by Elevated CO2 and Salt Concentration
Seven C3 crop and three C3 weed species were grown from seed at 360 and at 700 cm3 m–3 carbon dioxide concentrations in a controlled environment chamber to compare dry mass, relative growth rate (RGR), net assimilation rate (NAR), leaf area ratio (LAR) and photosynthetic acclimation at ambient and elevated carbon dioxide. The dry mass at the final harvest at elevated carbon dioxide relative to that at ambient carbon dioxide was highly correlated with the RGR at the lower carbon dioxide concentration. This relationship could be quite common, because it does not require that species differ in the response of RGR or photosynthesis to elevated carbon dioxide, and holds even when species differ moderately in these responses. RGR was also measured for a limited period at the end of the experiment to determine relationships with leaf gas exchange measured at this time. Relative increases in RGR at elevated carbon dioxide at this time were more highly correlated with the relative increase in NAR at elevated carbon dioxide than with the response of LAR. The amount of acclimation of photosynthesis was a good predictor of the relative increase in NAR at elevated carbon dioxide, and the longterm increase in photosynthesis in the growth environment. No differences between crops and weeds or between cool and warm climate species were found in the responses of growth or photosynthetic acclimation to elevated carbon dioxide.