(ORDO NEWS) — Plants can survive even at high CO2 concentrations. True, in this case, they will accumulate less protein.
When carbon dioxide levels rise, plants actually become less nutritious. However, this does not prevent them from growing.
Scientists say that the composition of major crops used around the world, such as rice and wheat, is being adversely affected by rising levels of CO 2 in the atmosphere.
While the use of carbon dioxide in photosynthesis provides plants with sugars, most plants use their roots to collect other nutrients, including nitrogen, phosphorus and iron, from the soil.
Why is carbon dioxide good for plants?
There are many reports in the literature showing that CO 2 levels , which may be observed as early as the end of the 21st century, will lead to a decrease in nitrogen concentration in most plants, which will affect the protein content of plant products.
Researchers first noticed this phenomenon under experimental conditions more than 20 years ago, but now it has been observed in the natural environment.
Long-term studies of forests have shown a decrease in mineral content in foliage, and archival plant samples from a century ago have higher nutrient content than today’s counterparts.
Moreover, plants that already grow in areas with natural increases in atmospheric CO2, such as volcanic eruptions, have lower nitrogen levels than plants growing in conditions with lower CO2 levels .
If an increase in CO 2 leads to a decrease in nutrients at their source, this is hardly the only factor. And the fact that nutrient supplies are not keeping up with the faster growth of carbon biomass doesn’t explain it either.
There must be something else going on, but all we have so far are a few intriguing hypotheses.
The main one is that excess CO2 disrupts the physiology of plant nutrient transport systems. Exactly how this happens is still not clear to scientists, and research has so far produced conflicting results.
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