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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 39 No. 3, p. 710-718
    Received: Jan 26, 1998

    * Corresponding author(s): ferris_rachel@hotmail.com
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Seed Yield after Environmental Stress in Soybean Grown under Elevated CO2

  1. Rachel Ferris ,
  2. T. R. Wheeler,
  3. R. H. Ellis and
  4. P. Hadley
  1. Dep. of Horticulture and Landscape, The Univ. of Reading, Plant Science Laboratories, Whiteknights, PO Box 221, Reading. RD6 6AS, UK



Episodes of high temperature and drought are predicted to occur more frequently under conditions of future climate change. This study investigated whether an episode of high air temperature (HT, +15°C), water deficit (WD), or both (HTWD), for 8 d, had the same effects on the yield of soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merrill, cv. Fiskeby V] grown under either ambient (aCO2; 360 (μol mol−1 CO2) or elevated (eCO2; 700 μmol mol−1 CO2) CO2 concentrations. Plants were grown in a glasshouse at either aCO2 or at eCO2 until 52 d after sowing (DAS). The S-d stress treatments were then imposed before the plants were returned to their original environments. Across harvests, total biomass was 41% greater under eCO2 than under aCO2 but reduced by HT, WD, and HTWD under both CO2 concentrations. The relative response of total biomass to HT, WD, and HTWD episodes was the same for plants grown under either aCO2 or eCO2. At maturity, seed dry weight and number per plant under eCO2 were increased by an average of 32 and 22%, respectively, compared with aCO2. The same parameters were reduced after HTWD by 29 and 30%, respectively, in aCO2 and eCO2. Seed filling was earlier under HT and HTWD. The rate of change in harvest index was unaltered by CO2 while under HTWD, it decreased. Seed number explained 85% of the variation in yield, but yield was also related linearly to photosynthesis during seed filling, suggesting both are important determinants of yields under stress.

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