Invited Seminar at CES on 23 February 2021 at 9:30 am titled "Effects of rising atmospheric CO2 on plants" by Dr. Varsha Pathare from Washington State University
Atmospheric [CO2] have been steadily rising due human activities like burning of fossil fuels and deforestations. The current atmospheric [CO2] have crossed already crossed the 400-ppm mark, highest is the past 700000 years, and projections by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change see atmospheric [CO2] to cross the 550-ppm mark by 2050. Elevated [CO2] are expected to increase the average global temperatures thus resulting in significant changes in wind and precipitation patterns and increased severity and frequency of droughts and floods. In addition to these effects on global climate, elevated [CO2] are likely to have profound and direct effects on the growth, physiology, and biochemistry of plants. These effects result from the central importance of [CO2] to plant metabolism. During the processes of photosynthesis plants take up atmospheric [CO2] and fix it into carbohydrate food with the help of sunlight, water and soil nutrients. This carbohydrate food is critical for plant growth and for survival of other life forms. Thus, photosynthesis is at the heart of plant metabolism and increasing the availability of CO2 for photosynthesis can have profound effects on many plant and ecosystem processes that depend on photosynthesis.
In today’s lecture we will see how elevated [CO2] affects the key process of photosynthesis in different plant types. We will particularly focus on understanding how plants belonging to different photosynthetic types, that is C3 and C4 species, respond to elevated [CO2] in terms of photosynthesis and productivity. And finally, we will see how techniques like free-air CO2 enrichment experiments have advanced our understanding of plant responses to elevated [CO2] in a more naturalistic way.