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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Growth of Young Tobacco Plants as Affected by Carbon Dioxide and Nutrient Variables1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 67 No. 5, p. 685-689
    Received: Jan 22, 1975

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  1. Judith F. Thomas,
  2. C. David Raper Jr.,
  3. C. E. Anderson and
  4. R. J. Downs2



Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.), essentially a nursery plant during seedling growth, is grown in a protected plant bed until it attains the size to be transplanted into the field. Enchancement of growth rates during seedling culture would have advantages in production of tobacco seedlings, as well as bedding plants. Enrichment of atmospheric CO2 is a generally recognized technique of increasing growth rates. Experiments were conducted in controlled-environment chambers to evaluate the immediate effects of CO2 enrichment on seedling growth of tobacco, the carryover effects to post-transplant growth, and nutritional requirements tor maximum response to CO2 enrichment.

Tobacco seedlings were grown at two rates of nutrient application in atmospheres containing either ambient (400 ppm) or enriched (1,000 ppm) CO2 levels. At time of transplanting, half of the plants from each CO2 environment were reciprocally exchanged. During seedling culture, Relative Growth Rate (RGR) was enhanced C02 enrichment but was depressed by the higher nutrient application rate. The RGR to CO2 enrichment was reversed during post-transplant culture. For either CO2 environment, RGR during seedling growth was nearly three-told RGR during post-transplant culture. The reduction in RGR with CO2 enrichment occurred for both a 9-hour and a 15-hour light period of 450 hectolux intensity. The lower RGR for CO2 enrichment during post-transplant culture was associated with increased starch in leaf tissues. These data support the hypothesis that, although growth response may temporarily be enhanced by CO2 enrichment, it must decline to a level similar to that of plants raised under ambient CO2.

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