Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Enrichment Effects on Cotton Midday Foliage Temperature: Implications for Plant Water Use and Crop Yield1
- S. B. Idso,
- B. A. Kimball and
- J. R. Mauney2
In an experiment designed to determine the likely consequences of the steadily rising carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration of Earth's atmosphere for the foliage temperature, water use, and yield of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L. var. Deltapine-61) plants, cotton was grown out-of-doors at Phoenix, AZ, in open-top, clear-polyethylene-wall, CO2-enrichment chambers for three summers under mean daylight CO2 concentrations of 340, 500 and 640 μmol CO2 mol−1 air on an Avondale clay loam soil [fine-loamy, mixed (calcareous), hyperthermic Anthropic Torrifluvent). Infrared thermometer measurements of the cotton foliage temperature (TF) indicated that a 330 to 660 μmol CO2 mol−1 air doubling of the atmospheric CO2 content results in a midday T, increase of 1.1 °C for well-watered cotton at Phoenix in the summer. This temperature increase was predicted to produce a 9% reduction in per-unit-leaf-area plant transpiration rate and an 84% increase in crop biomass production, which compared favorably with the measured crop biomass increase of 82% for such a doubling of the air's CO2 content. These findings, together with similar findings for a second plant species—water hyacinth [Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms]—allowed us to develop a technique for assessing the effects of a 330 μmol CO2 mol−1 air CO2 concentration increase on the percentage yield increase (Y) of a crop via infrared thermometry by means of the equation Y = 7.6% × (IJ)−1, where IJ represents the Idso-Jackson plant water stress index. If this equation holds up under further scrutiny, it could provide a rapid and efficient means for assessing the yield response of crops to atmospheric CO2 enrichment.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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