Despite the denials of global warming caused by increased atmospheric CO2 from the scientifically ignorant or from the oil/coal corporations (or from politicians bought or rented by these corporations), there is one thing they can not deny.
The level of atmospheric CO2 on Earth has been steadily increasing for the past century and will continue to increase. Indeed, the rate of increase may actually be accelerating.
Because plants rely on CO2 as their carbon source for photosynthesis, how does/will this increased CO2 affect green plants?
Less Nutritious Plants in a High-CO2 World?
In a previous post, I briefly discussed the possible effects of higher CO2 on plants.
A recent report indicates that under high CO2 conditions some crop plants may produce higher levels of toxins and lower levels of protein, rendering them less nutritious.
The lower levels of protein as a component of plant biomass may be due to a decreased production of the protein RuBisCo in response to higher levels of CO2. RuBisCo may account for up to 40% of the protein in leaf tissue, for example.
Despite early predictions that higher CO2 would lead to increased crop yield more recent information suggests otherwise.
Bottom line: Increasing levels of atmospheric CO2 will be a significant factor affecting plants now and in the future. We need more research into the effects of increased levels of CO2 on crop plants in order to better prepare for a high-CO2 world.
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