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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 83 No. 5, p. 875-883
    Received: Oct 1, 1990

    * Corresponding author(s):
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Soybean Dry Matter Allocation under Subambient and Superambient Levels of Carbon Dioxide

  1. L. H. Allen ,
  2. E. C. Bisbal,
  3. K. J. Boote and
  4. P. H. Jones
  1. U SDA-ARS and Dep. of Agronomy, Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-0311
    D ep. of Agricultural Engineering, Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-0361



Rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration [CO2] is expected to cause increases in crop growth and yield. The objective of this study was to investigate effects of subambient, as well as superambient, [CO2] on soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] dry matter production and allocation for two reasons: to assess response of plants to prehistoric as well as future expected CO2 levels and to increase confidence in [CO2] response curves by imposing a wide range of [CO2] treatments. Soybean was grown in outdoor, sunlit, controlled-environment chambers at CO2 levels of 160, 220, 280, 330, 660, and 990 µmol (CO2) mol−1 (air). Total dry matter growth rates during the linear phase of vegetative growth were 5.0, 8.4, 10.9, 12.5, 18.2, and 20.7 g m−2 d−1 for the above respective [CO2]. Samples taken from 24 to 94 d after planting showed that the percentage of total plant mass in leaf trifoliolates decreased with increasing [CO2] whereas the percentage in structural components (petioles and stems) increased. At final harvest the respective [CO2] treatments resulted in 38, 53, 62, 100, 120, and 92% seed yield with respect to the 330 µmol mol−1 treatment. Total dry weight responses were similar. Late season spider mite damage of the 990 and 280 µmol mol−1 treatments reduced yields. These data confirm not only that rising CO2 should increase plant growth, but also that plant growth was probably seriously limited by atmospheric [CO2] in preindustrial revolution times back to the previous global glaciation.

Fla. Agr. Exp. Stn. Journal Series no. R-01052. Supported in part by U.S. Dep. of Energy Interagency Agreement no. DE-AI01-81ER60001 with the USDA-ARS.

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