Decrease in rice yield due to climate change found
(ORDO NEWS) — Climate change, accompanied by an increase in carbon dioxide concentrations, can lead to phosphorus deficiency and lower crop yields in poor countries.
This was discovered by scientists at Auburn University in Montgomery.
The researchers conducted two long-term FACE (free-air carbon dioxide enrichment) experiments lasting nine and 15 years to enrich the atmospheric conditions in which rice grows with carbon dioxide.
Although no change was observed in the first year of the trials, available phosphorus in the soil decreased by more than 20 percent by the end of the trials (26.9 percent and 21.0 percent over 15 and 9 years, respectively).
The decrease in phosphorus content can be explained by the formation of organic phosphorus in the soil, which is not always available to plants, as well as its increased removal during harvesting.
An increase in the conversion of biological, biochemical, and chemical phosphorus into phosphorus available to plants under anthropogenic changes is not enough to compensate for the deficiency that occurs during long-term exposure to elevated carbon dioxide levels.
The results of the study are worrisome given the ongoing anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and the projected increase in atmospheric carbon concentrations in the future, the scientists said.
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